Google to Increase Penalties on Doorway Pages

Doorway pages, once a favorite tool for search engine optimization, for some time now have been frowned upon by search engines. Now, Google has announced a “ranking adjustment” that will severely penalize doorways, and marketers who use doorways will feel the pain.

Doorways are standalone pages or sites designed to rank highly for specific keywords. They are intended to funnel visitors to other content that may or may not be related to the search queries they are optimized for. Successful doorways can garner multiple returns in search results that lead to essentially the same destination, reducing the usefulness of the search results. [Read more…]

Google Giving You Until April 21 to be Mobile Friendly

Beginning April 21, Google will begin using mobile friendliness as a ranking signal. That means sites that aren’t mobile friendly will be pushed down the search results page, if not penalized more severely.

Google has a page where you can test your site to see if it’s mobile friendly. There’s also a Google guide to making your site mobile friendly.

Your Webmaster Tools account also will give you a full list of mobile usability issues.

Google Warns Not to Use Press Releases for SEO

Take care when using online press releases as part of your SEO program. They’ve long been promoted as a way to build SEO-friendly inbound links, even though Google made it clear some time ago that, no, those links don’t count for SEO any longer.

Now Google has gone a step further and warned via a recent update to their Webmaster Guidelines that they may be interpreted as part of a link scheme and therefore hurt your SEO. [Read more…]

Bad Backlinks Might Not Hurt Your SEO

So, why do some sites with what appear to be low quality backlinks get past Penguin and do exceedingly well on Google search? According to Matt Cutts, one reason is that “the algorithms haven’t gotten good enough yet” to catch them.

Really? The algorithm is good enough to punish sites so severely that they lose virtually all their organic-driven business, but it’s not good enough to penalize competitors using Russian link networks or keyword-rich anchor links in the footers of low-quality blogs? (I thought it was an isolated case, until I saw a comment from someone with the same problem.) [Read more…]