A few years ago, the SEO industry was about manipulation and trickery; unwieldy websites could not be listed without wholesale changes which clients would not agree to and so an era of ghost sites grew up. Cloaking was rife, and big bucks were to be gained by manipulating the database facilities of each search engine and getting to page 1.
High Position realized that search engines (led by Google) were getting smart. At this time, we decided to pioneer the way forward for ethical optimization. We realized that if a search engine was to deliver the most relevant results to its queries, then the relevant authority websites needed to turn up, not clones or pages full of trickery. If this was to happen on a long term basis and avoid turbulent updates, then websites needed to meet specific standards both for the user and for the search engine.
High Position moved quickly from the old noncompliant methodology into new compliant technology, strict codes of practice were introduced and we transformed the quality of our client’s website messages and the way the information was offered to search engines. Search engine compliance is about delivering a quality unique message to search engine spiders without any ‘black hat’ techniques or bad practices.
To be compliant, there must be real and valuable content, good accessibility, clear definition of the message on any given page without forcible manipulation of that message. Domain names need to be set up in the correct fashion; servers need to deliver in an appropriate way, dynamic pages need to be served without duplication issues… the list goes on.
You are non-compliant if your website offers any one or more of the following:
- Pages themed specifically to deliver content aimed at a keyword and then embedded in a website, a practice now known as ‘content pages.’
- Server-side cloaking, this is terminal if found, and Google has now developed new techniques to screen this out.
- Multiple domains are serving the same or a cloned website.
- If you use more than one domain for a legitimate reason, then it MUST be set up on the server in a specific way.
- Any website with pages that can be found in Google’s database under both www.domain.com and just http://domain.com
- Microsites, gateway pages, doorway pages, ghost pages, etc.
- Keyword spamming, badly written titles and descriptions, hidden links in the source code.
- Inappropriate inbound linking.
- Copied content. Google knows if you have stolen your content, even if you try to edit it.
There are many more areas of compliancy and breaching any one of them will expose you to some sort of penalty. Search engines such as Google are looking to serve relevant results to maximize the information delivery to the user. We must all embrace this and improve websites to ensure this ultimate goal is delivered, that means your website must be compliant and must serve a good unique message from all pages to the end-user.