So how do you rank in Google now?

Over in my Google Penalty Mastermind I posted a video from Matt Cutts about the death of – well it wasn’t quite called that but that was pretty much what he was saying. There is no golden bullet make you rank in Google and I don’t believe a lot of conspiracies you hear about ranking in Google either. Anyway I had an interesting comment from Steve in the UK. I thought he had some interesting points, so I thought I would answer and comment on them here:

S: Hey Rick, thanks for posting this. It’s a clear statement from Matt Cutts confirming something that savvy SEO’s have really known for quite a while now.
R: It was good just to have it confirmed – I was aware of this a few months ago, when I had a Penguin Reconsideration Request Refused and one of the sample links was indeed from

S: Having said that it’s still not clear from my own experience that directory listings (article or otherwise) are a bad thing or that don’t “work”.
R: Well I have been using the service for a month or two now and I have complete faith in how they determine good and bad links. I’d say with a (very) few exceptions, directory listings are bad (even places like Scoot) and articles are now all bad. But it does depend on your niche and what other links you have.

S: I regularly compete for SEO business with accompany in the UK that guarantee page #1 rankings in just weeks and from what I see they do manage to get that done although on occasion they’re begin a little disingenuous with their claim and ranking keyword phrases that have a zero search volume.
R: I think we all know how easy it is to rank for phrases with zero volume. Search for ‘google penguin and the silver lining’ and see the #1 result I got in 3 hours with no backlinking.
Google Penguin Silver Lining Result

S: I’m not really sure how they get the ranking they do in such a very short time and for VERY small money too (£95 / month) but I have seen their clients ranking drop like a stone when they stop paying the fees.
R: I’d suspect they have their own private blog/web site network that they can add (maybe drip feed) and remove (instantaneously) links into easily. Seeing a sudden negative link velocity will cause the site to drop like a stone, no question about that. The question has to be – why would anyone stop paying £95/mo for a profitable #1 listing? Either it wasn’t profitable or it never got to #1?

S: Actually 3 of their clients migrated to my SEO services and almost immediately started to drop off page #1 even before I’d completed the initial keyword research.
R: Well you can always analyse their existing and historical backlinks and see if you can emulate that or do it better, just be careful not to overdo the anchor text.

S: All in all Google is still a “Black Box” so we’ll likely never really know what they do or measure to rank a site.
R: Now I am learning more with the Link Research Tools stuff it is becoming less of a mystery. I think of it more of trying to fly an alien spaceship – all the controls are there, it’s just not like anything else on Earth!

S: BTW – I’m moving all my SEO efforts to creation of rich and worthwhile content including video.
R: Creating content that people are actual going to read and watch is always going to be worthwhile, that strategy will never go away.

Meet the Author

Rick Lomas

Rick became 'interested' in Google Penalties when Google Penguin 1.0 almost made him homeless in 2012. Since then he has become an expert in fixing Google Algorithmic Penalties and Manual Actions. Rick has cleared hundreds of Google Manual Actions since 2015. He has saved businesses $millions. He has a 100% success rate in penalty removal.

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