Web Marketing Thesis
There has been a fundamental shift in the algorithms of large search engines that puts the focus back to content and away from linking. This web marketing thesis is the basis for Google’s Panda update, and should be one of the guiding principles of search engine optimization moving forward. A good way to think of it is as a web marketing science.
Google’s big breakthrough in search engine technology was the introduction of requiring links to rank. They used the concept of endorsements to help rank which websites are true authorities in their respective fields, and thus, they reasoned, they were more likely to be the website that the searchers were looking for. This led to numerous abuses and the advent of the link farm. Link farms are companies that will send thousands, tens of thousands, of links into a website for the purpose of ranking alone. The websites that links originate from are thin and contain no real content or purpose other than to provide link power.
As Google became aware of this abuse they have rolled out several updates to combat this practice. Updates include monitoring how many links appear to a new website over a specific period of time, verifying where the majority of links originate by IP address and linking C blocks, and others. After all of the linking updates, Google finally returned to looking at the on-page content of websites. This was personified in the Panda update that rolled out in 2011.
Since Panda content has taken on new meaning again. Previously to Google’s linking breakthrough websites were ranked according to content and keyword density. This led a lot of websites to stuff keywords to rank with nothing more than filler content, and this is exactly what Google wanted to move away from. Now, years after Google rolled out Panda, content is king again. However the search engine bots are smarter now than ever before, and the demand for new, unique, and sensible content is on the rise.