Got news for you: guest blogging is relevant for many more reasons than Google. In fact, that's probably one of the least important reasons to guest post or guest blog these days. Referral traffic that is more qualified than organic search, audience building, reaching new channels that organic search cannot quite tap, and many more non-SEO oriented reasons are why guest blogging will never really die out in the way that other types of linkbuilding have died out.
You have to love the world's biggest scraper and source of 'duplicate content' (all the scraped info from weather, wikipedia, etc in their sidebar these days) making up the rules of what is and isn't allowed. Extremely hypocritical, but the good news is that relying on Google never was necessary, and is becoming less and less so as time goes on.
Isn't that exactly the kind of institutional arrogance that the GP post was highlighting?
OK, some web sites might still be fundamentally dependent on Google. Personally, I'd advise against relying on a business model based primarily on search traffic for a number of reasons, but of course everyone is free to try it if they like.
However, I somehow doubt big name brands like Microsoft or Audi or McDonalds would suffer irrevocable harm if Google disappeared tomorrow. Nor would major sites like Wikipedia or Facebook. Nor would all the popular forum/news aggregator sites, or the popular source sites that repeatedly get linked from them.
Perhaps more telling, I doubt any of the much smaller niche/hobby or family business type sites I know about would suffer greatly if Google vanished tomorrow either. The big G represents only a modest share of the incoming traffic in each case, and moreover the quality of that traffic in terms of engagement and conversions is relatively low compared to most other major sources. They are often beaten on volume by at least one order of magnitude by a single link from an influential blogger in a relevant field who is genuinely suggesting that their readers visit that site, or the equivalent via Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest, etc. And that's before you count the viral effect, which can bump the difference to multiple orders of magnitude. Content is king, as Cutts has often said, but in 2014 good content can be found many ways without any help from Google.
I suspect this issue is symptomatic of a serious and long-term difficulty for Google search: their foundation is still basically the idea that you can judge the worth of a page by how many incoming links it sees. I'm reasonably sure that unless they have some shady deals going on with various popular social media sites, they don't even know about probably 90% of the incoming links to most of those little sites I mentioned, nor about 99% of the links my friends and family share to other people's sites. All they've got left is the public blogs and the assorted SEO tricksters, and that's not where a lot of people share genuine recommendations any more.
Many existing businesses already have awareness built through a variety of channels over a number of years, but if search were to die off some newer sites struggling to build exposure from scratch would struggle harder. That said, as Google keeps lifting the cost barrier to entry & radiates greater risk out to the smaller players perhaps building initially from the perception that Google is perpetually late / behind the curve on new sites, & that one needs exposure elsewhere isn't a bad thing.
"They are often beaten on volume by at least one order of magnitude by a single link from an influential blogger in a relevant field who is genuinely suggesting that their readers visit that site, or the equivalent via Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest, etc. And that's before you count the viral effect"
If they don't have an SEO strategy (or are selling a unique product that people don't know exists until they see it) & just let whatever search traffic happen on its own then sure it is easy for other sources to drive vastly more traffic than search. But if they are focused on commercial keywords, build content around the consumer demands their solutions help solve, and have an SEO strategy then search is typically in the top few referrers in terms of revenue driven.
A lot of the top affiliate links on Twitter or such are for iTunes song sales: low cost, low friction & low commitment purchases. I think I have had maybe a couple Twitter conversions in years, while search has driven orders of magnitude more. But both are channels that are part of the awareness process & when you add them together its more like 2+2=5.
"their foundation is still basically the idea that you can judge the worth of a page by how many incoming links it sees"
I think they fold in more usage data than they let on, but feel little need/incentive to mention that aspect of the algorithm.
"I'm reasonably sure that unless they have some shady deals going on with various popular social media sites, they don't even know about probably 90% of the incoming links to most of those little sites I mentioned"
Did you see the bit about using Google Chrome's data saving caching feature on Android? Chrome desktop also has security features baked into it. And there are boatloads of signed in user accounts tied to both of these. And large chunks of many social sites are crawlable.
"All they've got left is the public blogs and the assorted SEO tricksters, and that's not where a lot of people share genuine recommendations any more."
The fact that those votes are harder to give means they (often) have greater discrimination value. It is easy to say that social signals should replace links, but that would effectively be Google subsidizing competing ad networks. And even if we ignored that the "relevancy" signals in social are also the ad units, outside of those official ads there are third party strategies to ensure social is every bit as gamed as the link graph is.
Just today I saw this
and that reminded me of this from the past
The second part is what I really had in mind there. One of the sites I was thinking of is a textbook example, a start-up for people who have a certain hobby.
The SEO strategy is reasonably effective: the site consistently ranks on the first page of Google for almost all targeted search terms, which is not a bad achievement starting from a page rank of nothing a few months earlier. But it's partly able to do that because no-one in the field has really done anything similar before, so almost no-one actually searches for anything like it either.
In contrast, more specialised and proactive channels, such as advertising in traditional off-line media or targeting ads at people with that particular interest on social networks, attract very favourable comments and numerically they tend to get far better click-through rates, similar levels of engagement, and in some cases a much higher overall conversion rate/lower CAC.
If you only looked at the hits from Google, your first reaction might quite reasonably be that there was no market for this product, but the feedback once people in the target market actually see it paints a different picture.
Again, it's unfortunate, but not surprising.
It is secondary to our strategy. Facebook is the dominant platform in our target demographic.
I would not consider us, even remotely dependent on Google. If Google disappeared tomorrow the effect on our net sales and exposure would probably be less than 1%.
Google is, for many casual users, a lazy way of getting a full URL. Hit Google. Type Hubspot. Click. Hubspot.
> if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop
Guest-blogging as a link gaining technique is dead. If you want it for prestige, referrers, or whatever, keep on keeping on. You may want to nofollow though.
Of course it's not.
Cutts seems to be under the mistaken impression that hyperlinks were invented to provide source data for his employer, and that if his employer now chooses not to pay attention to some of them then the rest of us won't either.
In reality, if there's a link in the guest blog post, people reading that post can follow it. If it's a popular blog and an interesting post on it by the guest author, probably quite a few readers readers will.
Matt knows his audience and doesn't have to spell out everything to the nth degree--when he talks link building it's 100% of the time page rank related.
When they start giving out blanket advice about what people "should" do, particularly when the advice is as self-serving and frankly laughable as it is in this case, I find it increasingly difficult to give them the benefit of the doubt. I suspect they damage their credibility a little more every time any of them speaks or writes this way.
Having a well-trafficked blog of my own, I also receive hundreds of these awful spam emails. But why would I ever take their offer? My blog is respected by my niche because I would never post junk. Niether would the publications I write for. That's why there's still an audience there.
If a site author accepts high quality guest posts, should they no-follow the outbound links? That appears to be the message in your blog post.
I added some paragraphs of clarification to the blog post.
If it helps give you an idea why it's confusing: I get tons of spam comments on my site offering me spam content generation tools, among other spammy offerings.
They're obviously spam. I'm sure some people do fall for these ploys, and it's unfortunate. An appropriate message would be "don't fall for these". An inappropriate message would be "if you're relying on content generation in 2014, stop".
In other words, just because something has spammy elements, doesn't invalidate the practice entirely. What's still unclear about your blog post is this: If someone does legitimate, high quality guest posting, the kind they would do without Google, is this a positive or a negative in Google's eyes, and should links be no-followed the same way you'd do for a high quality affiliate or high quality sponsor.
So why don't they cut out the spammy stuff like keyword links? Or, if the content is really garbage, say "no thanks"? The only reason I can see is if they're terribly desperate for content, in which case they're knowingly degrading their own platform.
There are therapists, landscapers, used car dealers, craftsmen, accountants, etc. All kinds of people are small business owners and have company blogs. Maybe they fumble around their website, but they can tell when the written content of an article on their topic (landscaping, accounting, etc.) is junk.
A tech savvy user is more likely to be familiar with the reasons and risks and ignore poorer quality writing in their evaluation.
Google has no control over a visitor to a highly credible blog trusting you as a source and clicking on a link. Clicking the link shouldn't even be necessary, if you're establishing expertise for yourself and your company.
If your sole reason for guest blogging is Google juice, it's reasonable to rethink that strategy.
we've already seen how google missed a massive and long running link scheme (rapgenius) and had to do a clumsy temporary manual change to save face... now we're seeing them try to stop guest blogging from being used for spam
well guess what, every tactic that can be used to create good SEO can be used in the wrong hands for 'bad' SEO. you can leave a great insightful comment or you can leave a spammy comment. you can do a great guest blog article which adds tremendous value or you can do a spammy terrible article
google is confessing that they are incapable of telling them apart so they want to destroy the whole thing just so they can go on saying that they still know what they are doing
well, let me reiterate what many already know: the emperor has no clothes!
well guess what, every tactic that can be used to create
good SEO can be used in the wrong hands for 'bad' SEO
optimise your search engine placement by, huh, here's a novel idea - having original, good quality content. everything else is secondary. gaming the system is an arms race and not a long-term win.
I would disagree. If you are constructing your site with NO regard to how Google and other search engines would index the content, you're just throwing money away on web development.
If you are not following proper canonical procedures, not giving each page title a unique and descriptive text, and not using rich snippets, you deserve your low search rankings.
There is such a thing as good SEO. It's just being smart and letting people find your page. Just like Disney is as concerned with how people get to their theme park as their experience inside.
People very rarely link to things these days, and the big guys will pay people to provide links. Guest blogging was previously the ethical way to get those links until people started abusing it.
Also depending on your niche many of your users may have never actually placed a link anywhere before (outside of a closed network sharing a link)
How the devil are you supposed to get followed links? Not every niche is like tech, where a vibrant news and user community blogs and links to other sites.
To their credit, Google does seem to be figuring out that my site is worthwhile, despite the very small amount of inbound, followed links I have.
Ok, so once you have that, what then? What you suggest is not a magical panacea.
And if it's not outcome determinative, just put nofollow on the links and you don't have anything to worry about.
Maybe I am naive, but I'd imagine that there might still be non-techies out there who would like to be heared (not talking of company blogs, obviously). This thing cuts two ways.
What you are saying implies that any person who is not aware of the obscure technical detail "nofollow links" has nothing valuable to say.
It's my job to act naturally and not try to game the system. It's Google's job to figure out whether I'm acting normally or gaming the system.
So our hypothetical innocent user has to be sophisticated enough to 1) have a home site, 2) blog on a different site, and 3) include links, (and have some legitimate non-SEO reason to want to put links to his home page in the first place) while at the same time neither he nor his host be sophisticated enough to know about nofollow.
It's certainly possible but I'm skeptical that it is a large catagory. Plus, I doubt that whatever countermeasure google comes up with is going to be a nuke from orbit response for a very occasional suspected spammy guest post. Instead I expect they will be going after the many many instances that look like a concerted effort.
My assumption is that a non-technical person would go with some key-in-hand automatically configured solution. So to be on the safe side, any ready-to-use blog hoster should, by default, set all links to be nofollow links, right? Because you really _have_ to know about nofollow if you want to use it only some of the time.
Also, a non-technical person, upon being told that they can't link to their own site and probably also to the sites of other authors on the blog, might not be inclined to see this as anything but some arbitrary rule.
All is probably lost, anyway. This just speeds up the exodus of non-technical bloggers into the walled gardens that lure them.
From what I've seen, it's more or less the norm that guest posters have a blog elsewhere that's linked to in the post; if they didn't have one the host would have no way to assess the quality of their posts, and reputable blogs don't accept guest posts from people whose blogs they're not comfortable promoting to their readers.
In a sense, Google is the largest crowdsourced project of all-time. It's a lot like Reddit or HackerNews in that every link is an upvote, but the genius of Google is that each link carries a different weight, and that links are a natural byproduct of using the Internet. In short, the people contributing to the crowdsourced ranking system don't even realize they're doing so most of the time. They're just doing what they like and leaving a byproduct of doing so (links, social signals) that Google can use to tell you which sites people consider valuable.
But that means that once people realize what Google is using to rank, they can mimic those signals, and sway the algorithm in their favor. The problem Google is going to run into is that once spammers can closely (and at times programmatically) mimic what is happening "organically," Google's algorithms cannot tell the difference.
Right now Google's approach seems to be ignoring or highly devaluing portions of the Internet that have been overrun with spam. Article submissions, blog comments, and now apparently guest posting, which sucks for people that do really high quality, organic guest posting; for Google that has to be collateral damage. Spammers will simply move on to the next portion of the Internet, mimicking what Google still uses as a ranking signal. It's an endless battle.
One of the big things I see happening now is entire website hijackings (I've been meaning to email you about that, Matt). I did a quick little report on the search engine results for "Viagra," and 81 of the top 100 are hijacked websites, including a client I have to upgrade to a newer version of Drupal, as the older one has been compromised. I don't know if or how Google will win this battle, but it's far from over. I honestly feel like the new way we gather data to rank websites, and what will be successful in 25 years, will have to be completely unrelated from what Google is doing now, and much harder to manipulate than spreading links all over the Internet.
It's true that website hacking remains a big issue in the spammiest areas of the web even though it's completely illegal. Unfortunately, there's a lot of unmaintained, unpatched web servers out there that blackhats exploit. It's fundamentally a hard problem, but we've been working on the next generation of our hacking detection algorithms.
I've always wondered why we don't see more startups offering hacker protection, detection, clean-up, etc. Companies like McAfee made a lot of money protecting personal computers, and there's a similar opportunity on the web server side.
I definitely agree with you that it is somewhat of an under tapped market, but definitely think it needs to be head up by the right individual(s).
To be sure there are many patched maintained web servers, applications that are also exploited (by someone for some purpose).
The best and the brightest get hacked and software maintained even by professionals regularly needs to be patched for new exploits. (Take Flash which seems to be running at between 1 and 4 updates per month). Or even OSX security updates.
I know everyone seems to think it's the other guy that doesn't have his act together and isn't following the obvious advice but there are many "other guys" that are quite capable and still end up having problems and being exploited. (Source: stuff that I read in news stories the same as everyone else.)
Focused exactly on what you mentioned (web site recovery, monitoring and protection).
*I work there :)
I know very little about SEO or website design, but isn't google already kinda tipping their hand to what the future will hold?
Without adblock, a quick google search shows that the entire top half of the result page are ads. To me, it's fairly obvious the future will bring pay-for-priority search inclusion. You want a top spot? Break out your wallet.
Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, only time will tell. I'm more curious about search engine competitors 25 years from now. Google's had a great decade, but that can't last forever ... can it?
For instance, I recently watched a terrible movie, and I'm trying to remember what it's called so I can warn people off of it. Searching for that is a specific piece of information, not a generic "noun"-type thing:
A query like "sports" or "news" may or may not have an ad in the search results. Keywords like "credit cards for people with poor credit scores" will almost always show lots of ads, even though the query is quite specific and contains 8 words.
In some particularly valuable verticals (like hotels) Google then further adds their other paid verticals to the results in addition to the AdWords ads.
One of Matt's videos (not sure which one) mentioned online publishers tend to focus a lot on say 10% to 20% of highly commercial terms, while often paying much less attention to the rest of the searches as the commercial terms typically are far more valuable than the informational ones. (Mesothelioma lawyers can afford to pay more for traffic than say people selling flour, or people offering recipes that contain flour).
First of all, it's really hard to replicate high-quality signals. Yes, we've got spammy guest postings and spammy comments and entire websites overrun with spam. But if you were to analyze those links, you'll notice that they are still islands. As in, do you see any Viagra-related links on Hacker News or in your Reddit subscriptions? Do you see Viagra-related links in your Twitter or Facebook stream? What about all your other news channels? The only places I see Viagra-stuff these days is either in my Gmail's Spam folder or on porn sites. And I don't know why, but I'm not seeing much spam in Google's search results while I'm logged in, maybe it's the stuff I search for, or maybe Google learned my interests - but in Incognito mode I get a lot more spam.
And second, if there are dark corners of Google's search engine, search keywords that have been overrun with spam, then Google is partly to blame because they've turned a blind eye towards spam for far too long, as they tolerated and still tolerate Adsense spam and content farms.
If Google is indeed facing a spam problem, then there's a whole lot more they could do. Off the top of my head, why not penalize websites hosted on old, insecure versions of Wordpress or Drupal? Why not expose a "Report Spam" button to logged in users? Why did it took so long for Google to detect and ban scraped websites?
SEO is sort of the same way in terms of there being a range of options. Some people might use SAPE, Xrummer or Fiverr or such (nude person with a URL streaking at a sporting event), whereas others might use more nuanced strategies where any SEO impact appears incidental.
Design itself can play a big roll in the perception of spam. Designs that look crisp can contain nonsensical content without feeling as spammy as they are.
But another factor here is that Google wants to keep raising the bar over time. Things that are white hat fade to gray then black as they become more popular & widespread. And as Google scrapes-n-displaces a wider array of content types, that forces publishers to go deeper (if they can do so without bankrupting themselves).
How could this work? Well my company is trying something like that now, though it is early going. The easiest way to do this is by filtering the Web by domains instead of individual web pages. This alone removes several magnitudes of complexity.
many topics tend to bleed across niches
sites themselves will change purposes over time
how sites are monetized (and other user experience choices) may change over time
people buy and sell sites
sometimes the desired information is only accessible on sites which are not particularly popular because they are not aligned with moneyed interests
sometimes sites that are popular might be popular because they are inaccurate, conforming to an expected + desired bias
if the whitelist is black and white, entities may change their approach after being well trusted (one of the elegant aspects of Panda is how it can remeasure over time)
One idea would be to have sites that concentrate on some topic(s) of interest, where people can submit interesting links they find directly, and where others who share those common interests can lend their support to promote the best material and share other related links they've found themselves. I know, I know, it's a radical concept, but I truly believe there's some potential there...
Then you could maybe even organize them into publicly based on those tags. You would need a hierarchy of tags then though but that would give you a rather comprehensive, yet still curated, view of the web...
It's pretty much impossible to get good rel=follow links nowadays. My startup has gotten some pretty good and genuine attention on blogs and forums, but almost every link appearing on the internet to my site is nofollow.
This is not how Pagerank was meant to work. Google has learned that it's core algorithm is failing to be able to fight spam. Nofollow was invented in 2005 and it will be useless in 2015, since the entire internet will consist of nofollow links.
So while it may no longer a worthwhile SEO strategy, guest blogging still has some other PR-related upsides to consider.
I'm exceedingly picky about the topics and quality of articles on Hizook. In fact, of the few guest posts I've done in the past.... I have (1) known the author in person for quite some time, and (2) usually end up spending multiple hours to help edit / mold the final result. I have so little time to curate (even guest posts), that I'd prefer to just pass.
Of course, the difficulty arises if Google's policy is "all guest blogging is bad." There is a lot of perfectly sound justifications for it besides PR: credibility, new audiences, expert opinions, etc. For example, I shouldn't incur PR penalties if I write a (sadly, too rare) robotics piece for IEEE Spectrum.
A few are ruining it for everyone, and balance is hard.
I'm spending three weeks on the road in the next month, so I've got three hand-picked guest bloggers taking over the mike on my site, for the duration. Emphasis on hand-picked, i.e. invited because they're interesting and I'm hoping my readers will enjoy what they've got to say. I get to take some time off, they get access to a new audience, and the audience get some new and thought-provoking material -- because from my PoV it's not about SEO, it's all about the quality of the content. (Hint: I'm a novelist, one of the guests is a film-maker, the other two are other novelists. We all pretty much live or die by the quality of our writing.)
The question I'm asking is, how do google's algorithmic processes figure out whether a post is a guest post? Are they doing style analysis on prose now? Or counting outbound links, or looking for anomalous keywords? Or is it just a matter of looking for spam-flavoured advertorial?
beambot, I agree with your comments and adjusted the title of my post and added on to the end of my post to give more context. Certainly not all guest blogging is bad (e.g. valid reasons for guest blogging include exposure, branding, audience, community, expert opinions, etc.). We just see a lot of spammers exploiting guest blogging and innocent site owners as an SEO tactic, so I wanted to make it clear that we reserve the right to take action where we see abuse.
It seems like all the legit reasons to link out have nothing to do with search rankings, so why risk Google's Ire?
More importantly, if No Follow becomes the default, wont that be a net negative for Google's index?
Did they agree to take the guest blogging stint to promote their careers / work generally (or just for fun)? Or did they do it for the purpose of increasing the page rank of whatever websites they happen to have an interest in?
If it was one of the former reasons, I don't think whatever changes are coming down the pike should be a big deal. Although I can't speak for google, I imagine that whatever algorithm they use will look for pervasive patterns. So assuming that this guest blogging stint is a rare or unique thing for these guys whatever changes are made will probably have no effect at all (i.e. the dofollow links will still "work"). The next most likely thing to happen is that the algorithm somehow figures out that they are guest posting and disregard the any backlinks. Finally, there's a possibility that there will be a slightly negative effect. If it does turn out to be the case there is a penalty, then in the future you can configure the CMS software to put nofollow on guest post links and then it will certainly be neutral.
Regardless, they will still all get the exposure that comes from getting their names out in front of your blog's regular audience.
Will guest posts on high quality sites still count toward link building? I'm talking about well known sites that accept only a fraction of high quality contributors. Thanks
I understand what Matt's getting it with this decree but it's very hard to selectively enforce this in a way that doesn't come off as favoritism towards big brands.
Here's hoping for a happy medium here.
Now that the cat's out of the bag (and getting some attention), I guess it's sensible for Google to jump out of the "big brand's" pocket. Sounds like they're trying to avoid the interpretation that big brands and Google are scratching each other's back by blaming it all on the practice of guest blogging.
Someone might e-mail you out of the blue with a translation of a website you control. They'll ask you to leave in the links to them as a way of giving them credit. The links are there to give PageRank to a shady SEO organization.
I admit, I came close to falling for this once, when someone offered to translate a documentation page I maintain into Romanian. But I have a friend who speaks Romanian, who read it and pointed out that it was the worst Romanian he had ever seen, and that was enough for me to look into what was really going on.
Ah I mistakenly remember a similar post by Matt saying there would be penalization for that.
Make assumptions much? I don't guest blog, I'm merely asking a question.
Because competition is so high that to rank on any damn keyword it may take years without link building.
If you're a plumber, encourage word of mouth and other viral methods (discount vouchers for referrals, etc).
For almost any business in a competitive field, throwing money at SEO will only escalate. Win a different way.
Build something of value. Then people will go there.
DuckDuckGo are you listening me?
What would be a solution to this? I just hope it can be stopped.
Not sure there is an automated system that could detect "legit" sites selling links unless you have a larger body of evidence.
The rules should apply evenly to all, no matter how well we know the brand. Google seems to violate this when it comes to respected business models. If you toe the line and Google hasn't heard of you? You're done.
Likely, that's all they could go on - "Your blog has a dofollow link to this site that we know is super-sketchy and now you've been sullied by the link".
Matt, are you saying guest posting is penalty-worthy or simply "not useful"? It sort of sounds like you're threatening to penalize anyone who is, plans on or has done guest posting. If so, it seems strange that google would retroactively penalize people for a practice that it previously endorsed.
Can you clarify that at all?
What we're saying here is that someone offered to let the blog owner post some well written and original content on their blog, that would be relevant to their readership and mutually benefiting to both parties. But that's bad because Google says so.
Now, if the content is bad, or not relevant to the readership, or overly spammy, then the blog's readership will presumably react. So it's up to the blog owner to protect their reputation and vet all content that they publish. But assuming the content is good, haven't we just got to a nice place? With marketers realising that the best way to promote their product is to persuade respected content publishers to endorse their products and by making content that people want to read?
Gaming the system seems to be a constant in nature. Species all over the animal kingdom develop mimicry, camouflage, and other techniques to fool predators, prey, and mates. Black hat SEOs are just the digital equivalent of the mimic octopus (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-LTWFnGmeg)
The Web is an ecosystem. You can expect Google to evolve overtime to respond to cheaters, but you can also expect the cheaters to constantly involve new ways to game the system. There's no foolproof algorithm.
For the regular folks who want to use the Internet, let me put it this way:
Okay, I’m calling it: if you’ve ever advocated, used, bought, or benefitted from guest blogging, you're part of the problem on the Internet. It has always been and will always be a scummy and spammy SEO technique that devalues and dilutes the value of information on the Internet. It is pure entropy.
And no, I'm not talking about Charlie Stross taking a vacation and having relevant people write on his blog for his fans. I'm talking about the brokers, the people who buy and sell content and links, the people who see their online content as a means (way to make money by selling ads), not an end (way to give value or entertainment to people).
It would be funny if everyone used nofollow for every link. Google would find itself in a pickle.
This results in two things: Although Google tells you that you should optimize for your clients, if you do that, Google has no clue what the website is about. If you sell paper, a user knows what to do with these - package gifts, wrap books. Googel doesn't unless you put "paper to wrap books" on your site, it doesn't show in peoples search results. A list of mobile phones? Google doesn't know that you try to sell these, your website visitor immediatly does. If you only have brand names and don't use smartphone, if your button is called "add to basket", it does not show your page for "buy smartphone" unless you stick it to your site, a lot of it, but just below the Panda threshold. This is the reason ecommerce sites explain what a "jacket" is on their search result page. No user needs this, but the web is plastered with "hints" for the Google algorithm by legitimate websites, not spammers.
Everytime I surf pages, I see this Google hints making websites ugly everywhere.
The other result of Google is so much different from humans in reality: The algo can't determine between legitimate content (e.g. good guest posts) and spam. So there is more and more collateral, websites and blogs that are hit, legitimate business that is lost due to some Penguin update, never to recover - without any bought links.
(Go to seo/bigseo Reddit)
Googles algorithm is so much less intelligent as they want you to belief it is with their "just design with the user in mind" to rank on Google. If you do this, you're lost.
PS: The only people that love Google and do not care are spammers. They put up a website, spam it, make money and when hit move on to building the next cheap website.