Many of us (as an industry) spend a lot of time trying to be on the first page of Google. More often than not, it’s a fool’s errand.
We design sites and applications for people, not robots (yet); why are we spending so much time tailoring content to Google only to have them tweak an algorithm and bury it? Sam Solomon does a great job elaborating on this:
Casualties from Google’s Panda 4.0 update began to surface in blog posts this week. What is different about this last round of updates? It includes a huge amount of major web properties. Most notably, eBay, which lost 80 percent of it’s organic search rankings. Ask.com, RetailMeNot and Yellow Pages also saw a steep decline in organic rankings.
Having built and managed several websites, I understand the allure of search engine optimization, but it is important to draw a line between best practices and gaming the system. I’ve noticed eBay’s content absent landing pages, and it likely contributed to the drop in rankings.
Following best practices is important, but be careful to not overstep that line and try to beat Google (you probably won’t).
Sam brings up a good point, when’s the last time you saw ebay in a search result?