As my friend Tom Foremski says.. start thinking of permalinks as permafrost. Google is being a bit more paranoid than usual. Why? because not only having too many DOFOLLOW links can get you in trouble, but also too many modifications to your site as well. I was surprised to find out that several clients that were optimizing their websites to adhere to almost every single quality guideline that Google Webmaster’s Central suggested were being heavily punish in Search Results. We would take an old page and tweak it a little bit to improve its readability and overall appearance and yet as soon as Google found out about the changes being made, the page has sunk to the ocean of oblivion.
The difference between Natural Google Dance and punishment
After reading a blog post by Foremski from Silicon Valley Watcher it all made sense. You see, as I reported in this post, there is a difference between natural Google Dance and a SERP punishment. Mainly Google spiders tend to visit sparkly a website that has been punish but they will visit a website dancing very often. Many of my new clients’ websites were sinking it all indicated that it was a punishment since they spiders started visiting less often their sites (always monitor your bandwidth and watch for the Google Bot).
Google punishing white hat SEO
It all seems to indicate that any modification of a website that has been indexed already in Google might temporarily flag a website and raise suspicion from Google about the intent of that modification. Websites that were doing average in the past were sinking badly after improving the content. If the Google Bot sees that a website has been modified intentionally it will raise suspicion and a closer monitoring will be made towards that specific page. If the changes significantly affect the assigned SEO value of the page, you will see the page sinking in ranking within a few hours.
Google is not penalizing “new pages”
Better than significantly changing an old, indexed page, and improve its quality, it seems to be the case that creating a brand new page with a some-what related content and placing ONE small link on the “original” page does a far better job at getting a particular post ranked. DO NOT ping the old page! nothing is more dangerous right now that screaming at Google “hey hey notice the changes I made to my site to attempt to manipulate you“. Instead just let the Google bot naturally visit your site. Add a few NO FOLLOW links to your old and new post (I know it sounds ironically but Google is actually “following” no-follow links, they just do not pass on page rank supposedly). Read a little more about NO Follow links.
My secret advise to be successful at your SEO campaigns… do what other people are NOT doing to deliberately influence SEO. Google is finding the trend and identifying people who just obsess with a particular technique, whether is mass commenting, DOFOLLOW links, blog networks, pings, etc etc. The more “natural” and “innocent” you look in the eyes of the Google bots, the better you will do in the search results. That is my opinion, let me know what you think.