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Looking at search today it almost seems like google has lost focus on good
search results. The ongoing war against SE spam has changed search technology to
the extent that many legitimate webmasters are seeing their sites caught up by
friendly fire. Although in saying this many of the webmasters that cry the
loudest are the ones breaking the rules and pushing the boundaries. Google is
smart and plenty of people like to take pot shots at the tall poppy of the
search world but I would not want the responsibility of trying to manage and
police the worlds biggest search tool. When you look at what they have to
contend with in terms of spam in the form of scraper sites and massive amounts
of duplicate content, throw in data storage and crawling on an ever increasing
and uncharted scale and you are going to encounter many "issues" as you move
forward. The KISS (keep it simple stupid) theory is no longer in play here,
search technology is much more complex with new algorithms coming into play all
the time.

Looking around at SEO forums you
read all sorts of things about a google conspiracy and webmasters being forced
to buy adwords because they simply can't get the volume of traffic from organic
search any more. What many webmasters are seeing today is pages drop from the
google index on large scale and a constant shifting of the results across the
different google data centers, also large numbers of supplemental results being
reported for sites. Corresponding drops in traffic and very upset webmasters who
are caught in the fallout, in some ways Google is the victim of it's own
dominance as are the many webmasters who catch a cold when google has a sneeze.
Adwords is not the motive for the constant flux as has been suggested by a few,
when you examine things adwords needs it's network of partner sites to generate
traffic in order to keep the revenues flowing and of course good search
technology  results play a major part in the cycle. I don't think it is any
more complex than that. Because google is so dominant it's the greatest source
of free traffic in the world, this makes them the biggest target in the world
which in turn gives them the hardest job in the world. You can't keep all of the
people happy all of the time some blood is going to get spilled along the way.
The biggest enemy of the webmaster is the other webmaster busy putting together
a massive auto generated database driven spam site to flood the search engines.

 Is google winning the battle here? The latest series of google updates would
suggest to some extent yes they are making headway in some areas although as I
write this there are some strange results being served up from a lot of the
google data centers right now, we have been monitoring a few of the large spam
sites and one or two seem to have resurfaced during the current data push. This
I would expect to be only a temporary situation but it is a concern to see in
some sectors that good sites fall out of the rankings and sites of lesser
quality getting a reward even if it is only temporary. Google shoulders enormous
responsibility and the question of accountability is an interesting subject, if
google changes it's algorithm and the whole search world turns upside down the
effects can be far reaching and very damaging for online business, we are not
talking about small numbers here. Of course some would argue there are winners
and losers as the total number of searches remains about the same so if I am not
getting clicks then some other business is? Maybe this is the case but with
investment in infrastructure and stock and employees an online business needs to
consider it's reliance on organic search results and the revenue generated from
this otherwise you might just be caught without a chair when the music stops.

What we tell our clients is simple, build clean sites for your users with
original content - forget to a certain extent that a machine is going to crawl
your site and make it people friendly. Clean sites, clean code with good
intuitive link structure, good relative text this is very much a back to basics
approach but it works and the search engines will reward you. Don't fall for the
"we can get you to number 1 in google" trap, it's not a bad idea to stay away
form anyone who makes this promise because not one can guarantee a search
ranking. Use resources that benefit your users and don't try to cheat or
manipulate your position in the engines. Good
online marketing and promotion will
go along way. Look at all of your options for traffic generation and don't put
all of your eggs in the google basket!

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The following comments are for "Understanding Google and why they are at war?"
by Maxine

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