Another friend sent me a message today: “just got a whole swathe of non-interlinked microsites torched today. Bastard! Just watching the rank reports coming in…”
I haven’t seen his sites, but based on how he described them “whole swathe” I wouldn’t guess the quality to be super high. One thing you could say for them was that they were unique.
Where putting in the effort to create original content falls flat on its face is when search engines chose to outrank aggregators (or later copies) over the original source. The issue has got so out of hand that Google has come right out & asked for help with it.
The big issue is that Google is often the culprit. Either indirectly through their ads programs & algorithmic biases or more directly through the launch of new features.
When Google launched Knol I was quick to flame them after I saw them ranking recycled content on Knol ahead of the original source. The Knol even highlighted similar works, showing that Google allowed Knol to outrank earlier sources of the same work.
In a recent WebmasterWorld thread Brett Tabke stated that Google is putting serious weight on Google+:
Some Google+ SEO factors now trump linking as prime algo ingredient. Google+ is already and clearly influencing rankings. I watched a presentation last night that definitely showed that rankings can occur from Google+ postings and photo’s with no other means of support.
As Google+ grows – so will Google’s understanding of how to use it as rankings signals.
We are not playing Google+ because we want too – we are playing Google+ because we have to.
I read that sorta half hoping he was wrong, but know he rarely is.
And then today Google hit me across the head with a 2×4, proving he was right again.
Business Insider is not some small niche site that Google can justify accidentally deleting from the web with 2 clicks of a mouse, yet when I was doing a *navigational* search, trying to find a piece of their content I had already read, guess what popped up in the search results.