In the early days of the internet, it was like the wild west, with no one making any rules for how websites should move up on the search engine results page. The main thing was to use the keyword you were trying to rank for more than the competition did. That’s how we got pages stuffed with keywords rather than useful information that the user wanted to read.
Then Yahoo Changed the World
In 2000, Yahoo introduced Google to the world, and Google unveiled its algorithm for deciding how to rank websites. It boiled down to “if they are talking about you, you are important.” Links were one component of their algorithm, so people suddenly added all the backlinks they could point to their site—even if it meant paying for them.
You can learn more about the fascinating history of SEO in The Search Engine Journal. The important thing to take from this is that even though the black hat tactics of keyword stuffing and paid backlinks are rooted in the internet of the early 2000s, you will still see people attempting to use them.
Have you ever read an article on the internet that kept repeating the same keywords throughout the content to the point that it felt like overkill? They may use different variations of the keywords, but something about it does not seem natural. That is because it isn’t. It’s keyword stuffing in an attempt to rank higher on the search page for that particular word or phrase.
Google has gotten wise to this black hat tactic and will kick those pages down in the ranks when detected. As a website owner or a content writer, it is essential to keep your content useful and relevant for the readers you are trying to reach. By doing this, you will naturally grow your audience and move up in the ranks.
Receiving a backlink from another site on the web is a high compliment. It means they trust the content you are putting out enough for them to share it with their audience. Because of that, Google counts that as a factor in how you should rank on the search engine results page. It’s like carrying extra clout.
Unfortunately, some people would instead take the quick and easy route rather than the honest way. They pay for links that others work hard to get. Google and other search engines have taken a tough stance on this, banning the buying and selling of links as a way of manipulating page ranking. If they do detect this, they will penalize both the seller and buyer of the links.
What if I Have Paid for Links in the Past?
If you have paid for backlinks in the past, not realizing it was wrong, and you want to straighten things out, there is a way to do that. Google has a Link Disavowal Tool.
How Can I Rank Well?
The best way to rank well with search engines like Google is with high-quality content that follows search engine optimization rules. At Iceberg Web Design, we specialize in website-based business solutions, including premium content and SEO services. Contact us today to see how we can help take your business to the next level.