The “Google Slap” in the Philippines! – Youch! @_@

The popularity of the Internet as the ultimate advertising and promotion vehicle catalyzed an unprecedented revolution in business and commerce.

Every business, big or small, strived to gain market presence as this was the only medium they thought commerce will be efficiently conducted in the information society.

It was good while it lasted until the players started using illegitimate tactics to gain undue advantage over their competitors. One day, we just woke up to the onslaught of websites and web content with mediocre to very low quality and stuffed with inappropriate or unrelated keywords, for the sake of a click. As online marketing battle raged, user satisfaction and information quality were the primary casualties; but then along came Google slap to the rescue.

What is Google slap?

The Google slap is a term contrived by owners of business sites who bore the brunt of Google’s move to redesign the mechanics of its page ranking method and the algorithm used by its crawlers. Google uses crawlers to automatically find web pages based on specified keywords and include these web pages in the index of the search engine. The new page ranking system incorporated significant changes in the search process by factoring in webpage quality. Eventually, advertisers subscribed to Google AdWords who violate any of the quality guidelines are penalized by increasing the cost of the subscriber’s pay per click by up to ten dollars. This is what they call Google slap and the term connotes a negative impression.

Jack n’ Jill went down the hill… ooh lala!

What quality violations are punishable with Google slap?

I always love to play around with acrostics, so I devised one for five of the website quality violations specified by Google. I call these the first five SLAPS:

  • Sneaky redirects
  • Link schemes
  • Automatic content generation
  • Participation in affiliate sites sans sufficient content
  • Scraped content

You are guilty of sneaky redirects if you create website content that displays one content to search engines crawling the webpage and a different content to people surfing the same webpage. Using a Meta refresh or JavaScript to redirect online users to another page is a violation of quality guidelines in website design. This is obviously deceitful.

Meanwhile, link schemes comes in many forms, but the main idea is that any links which are intended to influence a site’s page ranking is regarded as a link scheme. Buying and selling links also qualify as a link scheme. Also, links that direct online users to a web-spamming site is also bad linking practice.

Automatically generated content is a group of words created by a program, where the words do not make sense but contain keywords spawned by the content generating program or algorithm. Texts created using any automated tool, which is not subject to review by a human reader for approval, classifies as automatically generated content.

The information you provide on your website determines its quality. If you link to an affiliate website with your site content simply duplicating the information in the affiliate, you are in violation of Google’s quality guidelines. Thus, if you are linked to an affiliate website, make sure that only a very small fraction of your site content is copied from it.

Scraped content, as the term scrape implies, is merely copying pages from top quality websites, generally to ride on the popularity of the site you scraped. It is also a common practice by some websites to scrape content from others to add more web pages to their own site. Besides challenging Google’s quality guidelines, scraped content also gives rise to copyright infringement violation issues.

These are just five of the techniques you should kick out to add more value to your site. There are hosts of others. The basic rule to avoid Google slap is to create top quality and original content without trickery and deceit. Jazz up your site by familiarizing with Google guidelines, lest you get Google slap.



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Paul Agabin is the Founder and CEO of Wooka Interactive. He is an internet marketer based in the Philippines which deals with varied topics such as local industry news, seo strategies, content marketing, inbound marketing, social media management, website reviews, and the like. You can contact him at 0917-5069839.

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