The sky is falling, the sky is falling! All FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) aside… If you’ve been paying attention and not blatantly breaking Google’s ToS, you should be fine.
YaY! Really. Yay!
I’ll hop up on my soapbox here for a bit and get into why it really grinds my gears! A lot of our clients have been with us for a really, really long time. They’ve been working their proverbial asses off to make sure that they’re doing everything they can to stay above the board, current with the latest tech & trends… Only to have some spammy Johnny-come-lately site on the same 1st page as them.
I’m one of those guys that will speak up if you cut in front of me in a long line. It’s rude! Didn’t your parents teach you manners? I feel the same way about those of you that take short cuts to get some sort of short lived fame on Google. Sure, I’ve tested out some Blackhat SEO on a few of my personal domains (just to see what would happen). But I expected to get put in penalty, or in the sandbox. I don’t take to Google’s forums crying “you’ve ruined my livelihood” because they didn’t.
So my suggestion to everyone that’s running around screaming The sky is falling, the sky is falling. Pull yourself up by the bootstraps, stop screwing around, take onus on yourself for YOUR MISTAKES, and move on having learned a valuable lesson! There are no shortcuts to online success.
Yes links are still important. Yes quality content is very important. Yes quality coding and a nice UI are important. Is your site responsive yet? Are you embracing the Social Semantic Web yet? What are your competitors doing better than you? And could you possibly do it better? Have you run an A/B split test to see if you can improve conversions lately? How are you treating your social? Are you using a 3rd party for reviews to get those schmancy 5 gold stars in the SERP‘s? I could go on and on… but this is one of the ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’ debacles.
There will always be two camps. Those that try and take the ‘easy way out’ and those that put their heads down and do the work. One of these camps is the reason the Google Spam Team even exists… also the reason for most of the algorithm updates. Also the reason for chicken little’s running around the web yard screaming! I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Einstein quotes.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
If you’ve been burnt before and didn’t learn your lesson… do us all a favor and don’t add to the gene pool. #justsayin #DoTheWork