Google’s Anti-Spam Torture: A Story of SEO’s Self-made Trap

Google’s wager of anti-spam campaign at the epic level, armed with Panda and Penguin, is perhaps one of the most discussed issues in the 21st century web history. Leading web marketing discussion forums are swelling up everyday as sharp accusations against Google for killing SEO continue to store. Such claims started clamoring louder than before with the roll out of Penguin 2.1, which is considered as one of the most important and significant anti-spam algorithm updates of recent times. But is Google really to blame? Let’s consider for the sake of argument that Google’s actual purpose is to torture web marketers in the name of anti-spamming. Yet, isn’t it a trap or plight that the SEO world has desperately driven itself into? Let’s evaluate, critically!

The State of Bliss:

During late 1980s commercial internet service providers started making their mark in the market. At the same time, they helped opening the gateway for web marketing. It became known that by mixing marketing and promotional strategies with internet technology, newer and more advanced ways to address the global audience can be explored. Web marketers were also aware that the competition would increase and handling pressure of the competition would require newer strategic measures. However, up to 1994 the WWW (World Wide Web) was free from spam and malware infection. Then it all started!

The Fall Cometh:

Evil Spam Looms Large

The year 1994 may not be remembered in the history of internet for any other reason except the fact that spam, for the first time, made its way into the web. Ray Everett-Church, one of the most recognized antispam activists, recollects the first instance of spam as an advertisement from two lawyers. However, hardly anyone could predict that an issue as tiny as this would completely change the web. It is called the ‘Green Card Spam’ and it was launched on the Usenet. Since then spam has spread like a virus, taken shape of an integral part of internet usage and made its presence known over almost all forms of communication that involve internet. Today, web search is almost synonymous with Google, but a few players dominated the market before the evolve search giant, such as, Excite, HotBot, WebCrawler and a few more. Web service providers, by this time, were well familiar with the fact that in order to gain most attention from customers they will need to rank top in the search engine results.

Spamming, over practicing the best policies of SEO, was accepted by professionals as the key to successfully achieve the top position in search engine ranking. In fact, among different types, spamdexing or search engine spam became widespread through its sixteen different forms. The new millennium (21st century), compared to the 90s, provided web marketing with the most fertile plain to reach the pinnacle of its success. Alongside, the web world also witnessed exponential growth in the number of websites that used using spammy techniques to secure top search engine ranking. While most of the webmasters and search engine optimizers were deeply enjoying the easy, short-cut way to the top, on the other hand, believers in the best practices of SEO (white hatters) started getting worried about their very existence.

Paradise Regain and Help from the Beasts:

Spam Fighting Beasts of Google

If the first decade of 21st century was spam dominated for World Wide Web, the next one appears to be spam-free, at least Google’s anti-spam initiatives seem to be promising enough to make it happen. Just a few weeks earlier to first time Panda roll out, Matt Cutts, the anti-spam team head of Google wrote in the official blog that they were aware how widespread the practice of web spamming became in the past decade. In the same blog, he hinted that at Google they are getting ready to take the fight against spam to an altogether different level. With reference to such declaration algorithm updates, Panda and Penguin were launched to track down spammy websites and remove them from search engine results. Judging these two updates critically, one can say that Google, for a long time, was getting prepared for introducing a wholesome anti-spamming approach. With the ‘black-and-white beasts’ the search giant successfully accomplished that goal.

SEO’s Torment to Continue in Its Self-made Trap:

No matter how convincing the SEO world sounds in alleging that Google has imposed the torment in the name of anti-spamming, it actually is a self-made trap. Let’s start discussing and evaluating about it by asking a couple of questions and finding their answers.

First, why should people depend on websites when it comes to getting the services they require? Because, it is time-saving and cost-effective. Alongside, users receive the chance to compare and contrast several quality sources, delivering the same service, only to find out the most affordable deals.

Second, how search engines actually help? Every search engine follows certain algorithm. This complex, algorithmic system helps to pick up the best results from websites and webpages that are indexed under it. In this way, a user experiences unprecedented ease in finding a wide variety of preference, before making the final selection.

These facts show that actual purpose of both search engine and website is to add to customer convenience and not misguiding them for profit maximization. At the core, web marketing, like its traditional counterpart, also wished to celebrate one of the basic principle of business – “customer first”. However, search engine spamming or cheating the search engine to ranking hierarchy perfectly antagonizes the fair practices of SEO. Such practices clearly make monetary gain more important before customer satisfaction. Majority of the SEO world continued practicing this malice for years and with perfect awareness of the wrong. It is the desperate urge to continue with the malicious way of gaining better ranking and customers’ attention that gave birth to so varied ways of spamdexing. The rolling out of Panda and Penguin updates, on regular intervals, has clearly exposed magnitude of the hypocrisy that SEO world practiced for so long. Moreover, Google’s black and white beasts did penetrate through a guard that helped SEOs to escape the required amount of devotion and commitment towards quality efforts that could have taken them to the top in a healthy manner – through a healthy competition.

In relation to the facts that have come up, the time has come, when webmasters and search engine optimizers start believing in the best practices of SEO. Rather than complaining against Google, they should understand that they are solely responsible for creating this self-made dungeon out of their whimsical and escapist actions. Naturally, they are left with no other option except facing Google’s anti-spam torture. Redemption from this state lies only with quality production and publication, without a stench of spam in it.

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Darpan Ghosh

Sr. Web Content Developer at Maketick Inc.
Darpan Ghosh is the Senior Web Content Developer at Maketick Inc., a supreme IT, eCommerce service and consultation provider, based in Silicon Valley, California. He is a web-marketing enthusiast, with particular attention to the dynamic search engine trends and Social Media Marketing.

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