Some of the websites that haven’t been hit too hard in
Google’s Florida update (November 2003) got hit real hard on or around January 23. Google’s latest update is called Austin, and they are beginning to ‘sound’ like elections!
Depending on the industry you happen to be in, you could have been hit less, or harder- it depends on a whole number of factors and not one situation is usually the same. One of our clients that, up to recently had their site optimized by another SEO firm was completely devastated to realize his site was gone from the face of the earth.
Things such as FFA’s (Free for All) link farms, invisible text (!) and stuffed meta tags that are 20 screens long, filled with useless spam will have your site penalized, or even banned faster than you can blink an eye.
Google’s new search algorithm is getting smarter and better. Part of it is due to the Hilltop Algorithm, which I wrote about at the beginning of January. In combination with the Page Rank™ algorithm that Google has been using since 1998, these two algo’s work in tandem in what is supposed to be producing better, more relevant search results.
This last statement remains to be tested, as in some cases I have found that some of the results produced are not always relevant. But Google is continuously tweaking and ‘fine-tuning’ its technology to make it better and the next few weeks should see more improvements.