There are so many methods out there that claim to help you market your business online; some work, some don’t, some tactics work only temporarily — and then there’s those tactics that will hurt your business – bad. If you’re thinking to yourself: “For $&*# sake, how does a business weed through all of this?!” you aren’t alone. Internet marketing can be complicated, not only to understand, but to implement effectively – just ask Google, who apparently breaks their own rules on occasion.
A few days ago, Aaron Wall of SEO Book took notice of a series of posts on various blogs that were apparently purchased by Google in an effort to gain exposure for their Chrome browser. Some of these posts actually contained links in them which were actually helping (in a small way) Google’s Chrome browser rank number one for the keyword “browser” in Google search.
A quick glance at the articles paid for by Google shows thin, poorly written content that easily demonstrates what Google has been telling 3rd parties not to do; In fact, their Panda algorithm update was released as a way to help combat low-quality content such as this.
Google claims in all of this, that they weren’t aware that the agency they hired was going to write such content or include links. They are playing the “oops” card for now and blaming it on the agencies they worked with to create and market videos for them.
Yeah, um, sure Google…
In an update late yesterday, Google announced that it decided to penalize its own page for its money making term “browser”, because it detected that one link that was paid for was passing PageRank. At last glance, Chrome is ranking sub-50 for “browser”.
Google is stating that they weren’t aware that the agency was developing thin, crappy content or that they would be building links via said content. What does this say to us as an agency? Transparency is of the utmost importance. And as a client?
It’s extremely important that you know what your internet marketing firm is doing with your brand.
Does this mean that you need to know everything there is to know about internet marketing to keep shady things from happening behind your back? No. However, it does mean that you should ask questions and when it comes to tactics, if the agency isn’t willing to give a straight answer – walk away. Also, check references and their online reputation before putting them to work in your name.
How would you feel if your webpage suddenly went from ranking at the top position to position 50 or worse? As evidenced here, it just takes one detected paid link to make this happen. So if your agency’s link building tactics include buying links, you would be best to avoid this if you aren’t well versed in current link building tactics.
If your agency is using inbound marketing tactics which include content creation on your behalf, it’s important to have a plan that keeps content from being seen as low quality as well. Even though Google may break its own rules until they are caught, they aren’t so nice to the average website that employs similar tactics.
As hard as it is for me to say this: Do as Google says; Not as they Do.