Just this past week Google gobbled up and spit out links in the Google Webmaster Control Panel. We’ve had clients go from 12,000 inbound links to under 3,000. What’s happening with Google now?
First, there has been chatter on the web as recently as Friday, February 8th that there was a glitch in recording link numbers in the Google Webmaster Control Panel, but does this account for such a big drop or are there other things at play?David Anderson in an article at SiteProNews thinks that there is a consistent erosion of Google honoring and giving you credit for inbound links that continues to impact website even post Penguin.
“Links remain important, but their overall value has diminished. Worse for SEO specialists, quality links have to be earned. Google stripped sites of many links they deemed forced, purchased or otherwise tainted and now makes it harder for sites to gain links. Content marketing and social media marketing are usurping SEO’s dominance in link-building as Google now rates links based on perceived value — a link from an article published in a high-authority magazine or shared on Twitter — gets more Google love than links from ezines and directories.” Read this interesting article in its entirety.
Note what David says is the new way inbound links are credited through high authority sites and social media – this is the essence of co-citation which appears to be the new way to garner search engine placement.
Add to changing link numbers and the difficulty in getting them to be high enough to make and difference and the growing impact of not being able to see the keywords that generate your website traffic in Google Analytics and you’re left wondering just how can a website owner get placement on Google with Google continuing to change it’s ranking formulas.
David Anderson doesn’t really answer that question (how to remediate Google placement) in his article just paints a fairly bleak picture for website owners and SEOs who are operating in this new environment. However, there is hope for savvy marketeers who are using content creation, social media, and Google+ to combat the new version of a Google smackdown that is impacting all websites