Posted • September 3, 2012 • Comments Off
The evil empire sets a SEO snare!
If you optimize a page that sets off Google’s alarms they will reduce your rank and see if they can get you to do something about it. There’s the trap. Now they have their proof that you are trying to manipulate rankings.
Here is the proof.
Google’s Rank-Modifying Spammers Patent
Googles Webmaster Guidelines spotlight a wide range of patterns that the search engine discourages against, that someone might pursue in if and when they were to attempt to advance their rankings with the search engine in ways designed to misguide it. The guidelines begin with the following warning.
Even if you choose not to implement any of these suggestions, we strongly encourage you to pay very close attention to the “Quality Guidelines,” which outline some of the illicit practices that may lead to a site being removed entirely from the Google index or otherwise impacted by an algorithmic or manual spam action. If a site has been affected by a spam action, it may no longer show up in results on Google.com or on any of Google’s partner sites.
A Google patent awarded in the middle of August depicts a few ways in which the search engine might react when it believes theres a possibility that such patterns might be transpire on a page, where they may lead to the rankings of pages being improved in those search rankings. This screen shot associated with the patent demonstrates how search results might be reordered founded upon such rank modifying spam.
Those practices, identified in the patent as rank-modifying spamming techniques, may imply techniques which include:
- Keyword stuffing
- Invisible text
- Tiny text
- Page redirects
- Meta tags stuffing
- Link-based manipulation
While the patent contains definitions of these practices, I’d recommend reading the definitions for those quality guidelines over on the Google help pages which go into much more detail. Whats really interesting about this patent isnt that Google is taking steps to try to keep people from manipulating search results, but rather the possible steps they might take while doing so.
The patent is:
Invented by Ross Koningstein
Assigned to Google
US Patent 8,244,722
Granted August 14, 2012
Filed: January 5, 2010
A system determines a first rank associated with a document and determines a second rank associated with the document, where the second rank is different from the first rank. The system also changes, during a transition period that occurs during a transition from the first rank to the second rank, a transition rank associated with the document based on a rank transition function that varies the transition rank over time without any change in ranking factors associated with the document.
When Google believes that such techniques are being utilized on a page, it might react to them in ways that the individual attempting to engage in spamming might not anticipate. Rather than outright improving the rankings of those pages, or withdrawing them from search results, Google might answer with what the patent refers to as a time-based “rank transition function.”
The rank transition function provides confusing indications of the impact on rank in response to rank-modifying spamming activities. The systems and methods may also observe spammers’ reactions to rank changes caused by the rank transition function to identify documents that are actively being manipulated. This assists in the identification of rank-modifying spammers.
Lets suppose that you have a page in Googles index, and you work to boost the quality of the content on that page and get a number of links that page, and those actions cause the page to increase in rankings for certain search terms. The ranking of that page before the changes would be otherwise known as the old rank, and the ranking subsequently is called the prospective rank. Your changes might be the result of legitimate alterations to your page. A page where techniques like keyword stuffing or concealed text has been used might also potentially raise in rankings too, with an old rank as well as a higher target rank.
The rank conversion purpose described above may make a transition rank involving the old rank and the prospective rank for a page.
During the conversion associated with the old rank to the target rank, the conversion rank could result in:
- a time-based delay reaction
- a negative reaction
- a random reaction
- an unexpected reaction
For instance, rather than just instantly boost the rank associated with a page when there have been some adjustments to it , and or to the links aimed to a page, Google might hold off awhile and even cause the rankings of a page to go down firstly before it goes up. Or the page might pump up in rankings to begin with, but to a much smaller scale than the individual making the changes might have anticipated.
Google may keep track of the changes to that particular page and to backlinks targeting to the page to see what form of reaction there is to that strange activity. For example, if someone stuffs a page full of keywords and key phrases, rather than the page getting better in rankings for certain searches, it might instead drop in rankings. If the individual accountable for the page then comes along and takes away those extra keywords and key phrases, its an indication that some kind of rank altering spamming was going on.
So why use this kind of transition functions?
For example, the initial response to the spammer’s changes may cause the document’s rank to be negatively influenced rather than positively influenced. Unexpected results are bound to elicit a response from a spammer, particularly if their client is upset with the results. In response to negative results, the spammer may remove the changes and, thereby render the long-term impact on the document’s rank zero.”
Alternatively or additionally, it may take an unknown (possibly variable) amount of time to see positive (or expected) results in response to the spammer’s changes. In response to delayed results, the spammer may perform additional changes in an attempt to positively (or more positively) influence the document’s rank. In either event, these further spammer-initiated changes may assist in identifying signs of rank-modifying spamming.
The rank transition function might affect one specific document, or it might have a wide impact over the server on which the document is hosted, or a set of documents that share a similar characteristic (e.g., the same author (e.g., a signature in the document), design components (e.g., layout, images, etc.), etc.)
If someone sees a little increase founded upon keyword stuffing or another action that goes against Googles guidelines, they might attempting to engage in some like additional changes to a site implying things like supplying extra keywords or concealed text. If they see a lessening, they might make other changes, that includes turning back a page to its original configuration.
If theres a suspected spamming going on, but too little to positively distinguish it, the page involved might be subjected to variations and extreme changes in ranking to make an effort to get a spammer to try some kind of corrective action. If that corrective action helps in any spam determination, then the page, site, domain, and or contributing links might be specified as spam.
If those are ascertained to be spam, Google might inquire further, disregard them, or degrade them in rankings.
So what is the best action to take? Nothing! That’s it. If you do something they will have all the proof they need to consider you a SEO spammer. Late,
Gary Pool SEO
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