An SEO Contest Exposes Weakness in Google’s Algorithm

djbaxter

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Jun 28, 2012
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An interesting read on loopholes and contradictions in Google's ranking algorithms...

SEO Contest Exposes Weakness in Google’s Algorithm
By Roger Montti, Search Engine Journal
November 13, 2018

A Facebook SEO Group held a 30 day ranking challenge. A top ranked winner was a website written entirely in Latin. The winning results exposed how weak Google’s algorithm remains to aggressive SEO strategies.

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The author includes an important disclaimer or caution that is often forgotten in studies of Google ranking factors: correlation does not equal causation, especially when you are dealing with a large number of factors, many of which are not controlled in a specific study and some of which are not even known with any degree of certainty:

A common mistake in competitive research is assuming that the obvious tactics uncovered are responsible for the rankings. Google might be using those signals or Google might be using other signals.

Nobody can truly know why a site is ranking. Only Google knows for sure. So the tactics you see, especially the obvious stuff, is not necessarily responsible for the rankings.

I’ll outline some of the tactics used but this not meant to imply those are the reasons. I’m only showing what can be seen and rub our chins and mutter, “Hmmm…”
 

Dan Foland

SEO Director at Postali
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Sep 25, 2018
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This is super interesting. I'm glad the article mentions correlation does not equal causation as this is a pretty anecdotal test.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
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Did Google drop these sites?

I did a search and couldn't find any of them ranking.
 
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They guy who won, Kyle Roof, is an absolute monster. I've been studying him for a long time, he's gonna be speaking again in Vegas at Seo RockStars this year too!

Dont know if there is a difference, but his site, was, and still is in lipsum ipsum, not Latin.

Even though goog said he was "penalized" he is still number 1. @JoshuaMackens
 

Tim Colling

Moderator
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Sometimes it's a little hard to tell which way is up in our odd little world, isn't it? :)
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
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Sep 12, 2012
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They guy who won, Kyle Roof, is an absolute monster. I've been studying him for a long time, he's gonna be speaking again in Vegas at Seo RockStars this year too!

Dont know if there is a difference, but his site, was, and still is in lipsum ipsum, not Latin.

Even though goog said he was "penalized" he is still number 1. @JoshuaMackens
He is in maps where manually penalties don't matter.

He is gone from website search results where manual penalties take effect.
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
55
They guy who won, Kyle Roof, is an absolute monster. I've been studying him for a long time, he's gonna be speaking again in Vegas at Seo RockStars this year too!

Dont know if there is a difference, but his site, was, and still is in lipsum ipsum, not Latin.

Even though goog said he was "penalized" he is still number 1. @JoshuaMackens
Where do I find this Kyle Roof? Does he post anywhere? ebook?
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
55
Thanks. For some reason the 1st time I clicked that link it went straight to the pageoptimizer home page and I saw no article, and I was looking. Thought the link was dead. Maybe my browser blocker? Can't remember if I turned off the filters or not. Maybe I did and failed to refresh the page. Or maybe this link is different than one that appears earlier in the thread? In any case, thank you. Reading article now.
 

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