What Google Doesn’t Want You to Know

If you own a website, you may think that the information released by Google is reliable information to base your actions upon regarding your website. You’d only be partially right. Because Google doesn’t tell you everything, and doesn’t want you to know everything.

Google has a set of standards. They want you to think that those standards are completely enforceable, when in fact, they are not. They want you to adopt those standards as your own, and to never never try to trick the search engines into giving you what they consider to be an unfair advantage. Of course, their definition of “unfair” is probably not the same as yours – but they want you to act in a way that is in compliance with what THEY prefer to have you do – and not necessarily what is in your best interest.

Google does NOT want you to know their exact methods of judging what they consider to be quality and what they do not. They do not want you to know what their technology is, or is not, capable of. And they do not want you to know exactly how they decide that one site is more important than another. They are afraid if you know that, that you will use that knowledge to manipulate their search engine to give you an unfair advantage. In fact, the Guidelines in the Webmaster Tools contain many verifiable inaccuracies, combined with instructions so vague and commonplace as to be completely uninformative  Рso even their own instructions do not yield any useful information.

They would like you to believe that their technology is capable of more than it really is. You see, computers cannot THINK, and never will be able to. So when it comes to judging quality, they really can’t do that. Because they cannot think, they’ll punish you unfairly a good percentage of the time, and reward you unfairly a good percentage of the time. And interestingly enough, those numbers really haven’t changed a lot with improvements in their system, they’ve just changed the kinds of things they reward or punish.

Let me be clear on one point right off – I do not recommend “black hat” (sneaky or deceptive) SEO tactics, and I never have. I have always believed that quality and value are the best choices, and that they give you the best return, no matter where they are applied, and that this philosophy is the best one for SEO. I believe that an honest person, trying to convey an honest message, has the advantage in the long term.

The fact that Google (and other search engines as well) do not really WANT you to know what they measure and what they don’t, means that to an extend, SEO professionals are simply guessing on many points. Oh, sure, experience tells them that this matters and that does not, but sometimes that experience is misinterpreted. There is NO SUCH THING as objective double blind testing with SEO – because no two situations are identical, so they cannot be objectively measured. So it is not only impossible to get Google to give you a straight answer, it is also impossible to figure it out by objective analysis.

This accounts for many of the misconceptions online about SEO, and for many of the wild theories that repeatedly resurface. It also accounts for the buzz raised each time Matt Cutts says anything even mildly suggestive of real information (which, upon closer examination, always reveals itself to be more sidestepping of genuine communication). It is almost funny to see the news reports after he gives a public address – people will be announcing the amazing thing he said, when in fact, he did not say anything at all, just suggested that he might know something he is not going to tell.

So take the words endorsed by Google with a grain of salt. They are not always true – and they are more often implication than actual statements.

Because in reality, Google doesn’t WANT you to understand how it all works.

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