Search Engine Land just published an article that basically states that real SEO’s comply with Google’s Guidelines.
Google declared war against SEO, or better said old school SEO. 10 years later Google shaped the SEO industry to the point where SEO’s now align themselves with Google rather than “against” the search engine.
Google’s victory has been so sound, in fact, that they’ve remade an entire industry and turned their former enemies into allies. Rather than working tirelessly to trick search engines, modern SEO practices more or less work for Google — fighting spam (instead of producing it) and creating great content for Google to dish up to their users.
That is the truth. Though for the record many firms stuck to the guidelines the entire “trip”. The ones that tried to “bend”, “break” or flat out go blackhat had a rough ride over the past few years. But that was in the past, today hiring a professional SEO agency means you are hiring copywriters, technical skills and individuals with the sole mission of making your website Google Guideline compliant.
This isn’t the relationship we had (we as in SEO firms in general) had with Google all though the 2000’s and early 2010’s. SEO firms had internal tricks to rank better, they refused to share those tricks with other SEO firms and tried to hide their methods from Google itself. Of course each of these tricks were discovered and penalized in the search engine when the next update occurred.
It made for wild variations whenever an update occurred. In fact they were named (and still are) similar to hurricanes. The reason they made so much noise was two fold. The first was because the way they rolled out, from datacenter to datacenter over the course of a day or two. The second was because 1/2 the highest ranking websites were specifically targeted to get demoted because they ranked well due to a trick that they were doing.
As Google came down on each of these “tricks” a large percentage of the SERPS would drop out of favor for new ones. These were massive changes. Now however the algorithms are slowly put out in a rolling format over the course of weeks and months. We don’t have rapid world shattering changes from day to day anymore. Now we notice slight changes over the course of a month or two. It’s not like it used to be, where you would do your search and your company drops from #1 to #200 in a matter of 30 seconds. That drop still will occur, but it appears to float down rather than drop like a rock. Vice versa for a site that is starting to climb in the rankings. It doesn’t shoot up like a rocket, more like a slow moving hot air balloon over the course of a few weeks.
This type of SEO is actually more interesting and fun than the rapid change SEO that use to take place.
Welcome to Modern SEO.