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The Spiralling State of SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) seems to be a continually moving target as Google battles the various attempts to arbitrage it’s page ranking methods.

In June earlier this year, I poured over this excellent article from SEOMoz, “How to Perform the World’s Greatest SEO Audit”. It’s a reasonably detailed guide to establishing the health of your web pages from the perspective of a search engine and ensuring the basics are covered, and then some.

The article is broken into the following sections:
- Accessibility by search engines to your web pages;
- Indexability of the actual page html;
- Ranking Factors affected by page content;
- Ranking Factors affected by sites linking to your content and other external ‘forces’;
- Running analyses on competitors.

Recommended read for it’s clarity.

But now recent news from the Valley that Google has been granted another patent relating to its ability handle (bad?) SEO practices. Plenty of detail here if you’re interested. It’s another classic trade off between surfacing the most relevant content from a search and controlling suspicious SEO behaviour.

Yet again, it seems it’s getting increasingly hard to test and experiment with one’s web pages without the mortal fear of ruining your good standing with Google. Is there an end to this arms race? Maybe we can look forward to a world where SEO is no longer relevant and we can strike that cost off the monthly bill from our agency friends.

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