Google frequently updates algorithms to make the search engine user-friendly. Businesses emerge and flourish on the internet and each day new websites are listed in search engines. The search engines have to make sure that the most user-friendly and informative websites rank highest. This is the reason why Google comes up with some new updates that turns out to be a challenge for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) experts. In June 2013, there were reports about a bug in Google Webmaster tools. The tools revealed only a fraction of the total links to any website. This spread a panic wave among webmasters around the world. Here are some insights on why the Google Webmaster Tools reveal only a fraction of your total back-links.
Link building is a common SEO technique to increase the rank of a website. A website with a greater number of quality back-links always gain priority in search engines. The number alone of back-links do not always indicate better websites. This is because some spammers have created back-links simply to rank. Here are some of the common link related spamming techniques used by web spammers.
SEO experts have realized that link building is a key to higher page ranks. The greater number of back-links are regarded with respect by search engines. The spammers misuse this fact to increase page rank through black hat methods which are unethical. They participate in link schemes with an aim to increase the number of back links to the website.
There are SEO firms that sell links which increase the page rank. This is a deceptive method and definitely not appreciated by search engines. The diverse link farming procedures lead unworthy websites to rank well in search engines.
Google has a history of taking the right action at the right time to make sure the users benefit from it. The Panda and Penguin updates are prominent examples of user-oriented algorithm changes. The Panda update easily brought down websites that are of low quality. Websites that did not provide any useful information were severely hit by the Panda update. It directly targeted poor quality websites. The Penguin update by Google was another prominent update that affected content writing greatly. Websites with similar anchor text or repeated content were penalized. Websites that used keyword stuffing as an SEO strategy were also affected. These updates were in limelight as they affected a large number of websites.
The webmaster tool bug is also a strategy by Google to avoid web spamming. It has issued warnings to websites that do not follow the guidelines stated by Google. The artificial or unnatural links from websites are not taken by Google as a ranking factor. The Google Webmaster tools may simply not show these links to your websites. That could be the reason why you are able to witness only a fraction of the links. You will still be able to see all the relevant and useful links to your website using the Google Webmaster Tools.
The first step you need to take when you witness spam or low quality links to your website is find ways to get rid of it. You can identify spam links using Google Webmaster Tools. You may also use Majestic or Open Site Explorer. These tools help to detect spam websites. You can then remove the spam links to your website.
The next step after you identify a spam link is to get rid of these website links. This is vital because if there are many bad links to your website, it simply brings you down in Google. There are several useful link removal tools online. You may use any of these tools to remove spam links once you identify them. Google’s Disavow tool is another great option. It helps you remove singular links or even the entire domains. It is a very useful tool for people who wish to maintain their website’s reputation on the search engines.
Many webmasters around the world have knowingly or unknowingly created poor back-links simply to rank high on search engines like Google. The latest warnings by Google have put their reputation to threat. They now need to get rid of poor back-links to regain their reputation. Google’s Disavow Tool is the last refuge. Here are some facts that you must remember when you plan to use the tool:
– It is better if you get rid of the complete domain rather than a single URL. The website may drive in more artificial links if you do not disavow the URL.
– Make sure that you do not delete any good links.
– It is best if you communicate with other webmasters why you plan to get rid of the link.
You must save a copy of the disavow file in your Google docs. You may use this when you are requesting Google to remove the penalty.
The next question that pops up is whether links still matter in search results. The answer is yes. It is still beneficial to have quality back-links to your website. The Webmaster Tool Bug and the warning by Google are steps to get rid of negative SEO and artificial links. All search engines encourage organic SEO. The updates and modifications in search engines are always to benefit the user. Webmasters and SEO experts must understand this basic fact. They must strive to enhance the quality of the websites they create. This will surely help them rank in Google. It will also satisfy the users.
White Hat SEO is targeted to benefit the users. Its main objective is to please the user and not rank high in search engines. Here are some common guidelines that are regarded as White Hat SEO strategies:
The web content should be grammatically correct. It should not be stuffed with keywords simply to rank. The content must be readable and relevant. It must contain useful information for the user.
Good Website Layout
The website layout should be simple. People should be able to easily understand the layout and be able to easily go from one web page to another.
Keyword stuffing is strictly banned by search engines. Proper use of keywords in content, anchor text and domain names help SEO.
It is important to have images that are relevant to the website. The image should easily convey the message and users should easily understand the image. The image should not be blurred and should be optimized for specific keywords so that web crawlers understand the image easily.
These are some of the key factors that govern White Hat SEO today. Stay alert and do not allow low quality back-links into your website. You may use webmaster tools to identify spam links and get rid of them using the numerous link removal tools available online. Stick to organic SEO methods so that you are not affected by the Webmaster Tool Bug or any kind of Google Algorithm Update.