SEO is Not Search Engine Manipulation” that Google will ban you for

Pankaj Mittal By Pankaj Mittal, 5th Jul 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Web>SEO

SEO not equivalent to “search engine manipulation”
Google is currently at a legal fight against a publisher that was banned from its search results because of “search engine manipulation” which should not be misconstrued as SEO being as bad, as spam, as something you could get banned for.

Google: SEO is not spam

Instead Google has explicitly mentioned that “search engine manipulation” is something the company fights against, might ban anyone for and, importantly, is defined pretty much how many people might define SEO.

Given that, “Is Google Trying To Kill SEO,” as the headline of the Entrepreneur article asks? Almost certainly not, as I’ll explain. But let’s start with Google’s official statement that it gave Search Engine Land on this:

While we can’t comment on ongoing litigation, in general, Google supports and encourages SEO practices that are within our guidelines and don’t consider that spam.

Got it? SEO - commonly accepted best practices - isn’t spam. And anyone encountering the newfangled term of “search engine manipulation” should view that, in my opinion, as equating with spam and not SEO.
What is the story behind the term “search engine manipulation”

The recent legal suit is between Google and e-ventures sites. A statement by Brandon Falls, the Google search quality analyst introduces the term “search engine manipulation” for the first time.

From Falls’ declaration, the first reference to “search engine manipulation” is as follows:

An important part of providing valuable search results to users is Google’s protection of the integrity of its search results from those who seek to manipulate them for their own gain.

As noted, efforts to subvert or game the process by which search engines rank the relevance of websites are called “webspam” in the search industry.

Such search engine manipulation harms what is most valuable to users about search: the quality (i.e. relevance) of our search results for users.

Accordingly, Google considers search engine manipulation to be extremely serious and expends substantial resources to try to identify and eliminate it. These actions are critical to retain users’ trust in Google’s search results.

The highlighted points above opens with the Google saying the it tries to protect its search results from those who “seek to manipulate them for their own gain.” Now the problem with the above statement is that Google is trying to convey that Anyone doing commonly accepted SEO is doing so in hopes of manipulating the search results for their own gain.In short, Google actively encourages and instructs publishers on how to “manipulate” its search results. While the newly emerged term that Google calls search engine manipulation” is equivalent to spam does not include accepted SEO.

Now read the next statement by Google that “Google’s online Webmaster Guidelines include a discussion of “Quality Guidelines.” The Quality Guidelines enumerate numerous manipulation techniques that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.”

In this statement, Google is inherently acknowledging that there are many search engine manipulation techniques but only some violate its guidelines. In other words, not all manipulation is bad and an actionable offense. SEO manipulation, that which is done within its guidelines, should be OK. Outside the guidelines — that’s spam and potentially gets you in trouble.

It’s a pity Google wasn’t much clearer and didn’t stay with the commonly used industry terms out there. As a result, it’s possible for anyone to fear monger or fear that doing accepted SEO might be a bannable offense.

But still I would like to convey that in reality, anyone who stays within Google’s guidelines really should have nothing further to fear, as Google’s own statement today says. In particular, it’s important to note that this declaration introducing “search engine manipulation” as a term was made back in November 2014. It was only just noticed now

This update was first appeared on SEL.


Google Search Results, Search Engines Rank

Meet the author

author avatar Pankaj Mittal
I am working with a Software & Web Development Company in India that provides web services to businesses all over the world.

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author avatar Ptrikha
12th Jul 2016 (#)

Quite interesting.

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