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Search Engine University answers -- Play by the rules or by way the search engine game's being called?

Search Engine University answers -- Play by the rules or by way the search engine game's being called?

Since Google (like referees and umpires), doesn't always call the "game" by the rule book, an important decision must be made by webmasters.

Look at it this way -- the baseball rule book clearly describes where the strike zone is, but most umpires don't call balls and strikes exactly where the rule book says they should.

In basketball most of the time referees will let players get away with minor fouls. This is called "letting them play." Then if the game gets too rough, the referees will start to "tighten it up" and players can't get away with some of the fouls they were able to get away with during the first part of the game.

In both games it's hard to win if you're playing by the rule book and the other team is playing by the way the umpire or referee is calling the game.

Since Google doesn't always "call" the "game" by the rule book, it's easy to see why some people choose to play by the way the game is being called rather than by the way the rule book says it should be played.

What should you do?

It gets frustrating when you see websites ranked above you that are using spamming techniques like:

1. Keyword stuffing (putting a lot of extra keywords on the page).

2. Putting keywords in every headline.

3.Getting most of their incoming links from their own site or sites they own, etc.

At times it looks like Google is not penalizing these websites. In fact, in many cases it looks like Google is actually rewarding them.

Search Engine University says, "Don't be tempted to step over the line (at least, not very far over the line)."

Google lets websites get away with a lot of "sins" for a while and then they finally clamp down.

This is hard advice to accept when you see websites "cheating" and being ranked ahead of you, but you will be better off in the long run.

The big difference is that in sports when umpires and referees start tightening up the game and calling it closer to the rule book, it's no big deal.

In sports, one foul or one strike is usually not going to keep you from winning the game. You can just change the way you're playing and get on with the game.

But when Google decides to start calling the game closer to the rule book, you could get "thrown out of the game" so to speak and find that your site has been dropped to the bottom of the search engine pile or even banned completely.

With Google, you can't just change your ways and quickly get back in the game. It takes forever and sometimes you never regain your original ranking.

Remember, Google does sometimes (all of a sudden) go back to the rule book and clamp down with a heavy hand on websites that are not playing by their so-called "rules".

If your web site gets caught in one of these "clamp-downs," you're in big trouble and all of the hard work you've put into your site could be lost forever.

To learn more about how close you have to stick to the  "Google optimization rules,"  see Part 2 of this article called, "The only 3 things that are now really important for high ranking on Google" at

You can also sign up for the free Search Engine University, "Tip of the Week" at the site and receive the latest updates emailed to you every week in a short tip summarizing what works and what doesn't work for Google and the other search engines.

For more information contact Jerry Minchey at JMinchey @ sprynet . com or use the contact information below.  

Jerry Minchey, editor

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