Why More SEO is the Only Way To Clean Up the SERP’s – Killing Links is Not the Answer

OK,this is going to be short but sweet and mostly me rambling, however try and stay with me I do have a point 🙂

Right, there has been a lot of moaning around the web about the state of the SERP’s, in fact I have done a fair bit myself, mostly about the crappy results being returned for pretty commercial terms.

Then Rand at SEOmoz brought up the issue and literally just today there was another post on the SEOmoz blog highlighting some crazy results Googlere returning a.

As far as I am concerned the moaning is over, there needs to be a solution and I don’t think killing links is the way forward.

The Link Graph

Many have suggested that the problem is the link graph, the fact it  is too easily manipulated and until Google drop their current model they’re always going to struggle with Spam, this has an element of truth in it but there is a fundamental problem.

Without the link graph Google have no business model…..they need a way of ranking sites and any other method just isn’t going to cut it.

Google commands a massive amount of targeted traffic, no matter what method or data is used to rank sites there is always going to be manipulation out there, where money can be made the scammers will always be around.

The Social Graph

Google have admitted to using social signals to rank sites and even though I have seen multiple examples of this working I still think it’s a minor rather than a major factor.

You can guarantee that if it became a ‘major’ factor paid tweets would be rife, spammed and hacked facebook profiles would become the ‘norm’ & paid stumblers, diggs, reddits etc…. would become even more popular than they already are.

Anchor Text

It has been mentioned on SEOmoz multiple times that anchor text is the issue and that Google should seriously devalue the impact it has on rankings but where to they add that value?

High PageRank = More Link buying

In content = More blog networks

Trust = Does anyone really know what that is??

I think the fact is no matter where Google tweak there algorithm it is always going to manipulated.

All Hope is Lost?

As far as I can see the only real way to sort this issue is to make more webmasters/business owners and bloggers aware of SEO how it works and why you should be investing in it.

Of course you’d say that Tim?

Well ye I would, however I honestly believe it’s the only way to clean up the SERP’s. Think of it this way you’re a business owner, you’re hot on SEO, you have a fantastic site and a top product, you see a fake spam site pop above you for your main keyword, obviously spam and not likely to be legitimate.

So what do you do??

You report it and it is removed within days, job done.

Now I know I am going to have those that passionately disagree with me and think this is encouraging site outing and it is but let me be clear.

If you have a genuine competitor that has bought a link on a dodgy site, that’s not spam, your Job or whoever is in charge of SEO is to beat them. A spam site is one that offers no value to a user what so ever, a genuine website is not spam regardless of how many anchor text links they have.

So the more people understand SEO, the more will understand spam, the more spam reports are complete and the less spam there is in the index.

There will be many big brand websites out there that think they should rank regardless because of there trust, brand presence or some other invisible factor, the truth is if you want a piece of the Google pie you have to invest, let’s all stop the moaning and get on with what we know works.


is the CEO of Branded3 a Search Marketing Agency in the UK. Tim has over a decade of experience in Search and regularly speaks at key events and conferences.

10 thoughts on “Why More SEO is the Only Way To Clean Up the SERP’s – Killing Links is Not the Answer

  1. Who judges what spam is? Take 100 people and you might have 100 different ideas of what a legit site looks like and what a “spam” site looks like.

    Next people will be recommending that government bureaucrats be the final judge of what spam is. Then we are really doomed.

  2. Seth,

    In terms of who judges, that is still firmly with Google.

    Google educate, give clear guidelines about what spam is, users and business report based on those guidelines and Google ultimately make the decision on what is and isn’t spam. Will there be false reports? Yup, even now competitors report each others sites. Still I have never seen a genuine site penalised because of a spam report or heard of it. If I reported the BBC now as a spam site it would have no chance of standing.

    Let Google educate, users report and Google judge those reports, afterall it is their index.

  3. I couldn’t agree with you more Tim 🙂

    A lot of people have bashed seo over the years, however in my opinion the majority of seo done does really benefit the average person. Just think, it encourages people like us to post quality articles on our website that anyone can view. Of course you have the few hard core black hat guys who give SEO its bad name. Preforming techniques such as extensive link spamming, trying to hurt their competitors through techniques such as reverse link spamming, fake hate reviews, server attacks and stealing content with a compassion, just to name a few ): – Many times just trying to get an article stealing site to the top of the index to make a few bucks.

  4. Ok heres the thing, spam as far as the serps is concerned is completely subjective. When I get an email for cheap rolex watches its obviously spam but if I search for it on G and the results are all heavily manipulated but ultimately deliver what I want I don’t see the problem.

    Aaron wall complains a lot about demand media and sites like ehow etc but believe it or not I actually like ehow. They have these short articles that overview the basics and can be quite useful if you’re trying to write an article yourself. Honestly I don’t think 90% of users care.

    BTW how’s life in land of smiles? I’m thinking about going to Chiang Mai myself.

  5. Well I am obviously biased but in my opinion SEO rocks 🙂

    There are techniques and loop holes in every form of marketing to create more successful campaigns, SEO is no different.

  6. Totally agree, it is subjective, that’s Google ultimately decide what is and isn’t in their index.

    I don’t totally agree with Aaron, as long as a result gives me the information I am looking for I am not bothered if it is a big brand or a small blog, in fact some of the most honest reviews on the web are from small blogs, not ecommerce sites trying to lead you to a sale.

    Land of Smiles? No not me… however I am sure you’ll enjoy Chang Mai 🙂

  7. You are correct, no matter what you try and do, there are always going to be people that will find a way to make the system work for them. The only way to fight it is to make sure that you are doing things the right way. By doing this any site that gives a run at you will only do so for the short term if they are finding ways to cheat the system.

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