Google Says Nothing Wrong With SEO
Naturally this caused some confusion, as Matt Cutts, head of Google’s spam team had said explicitly in a video released late last year that Google didn’t consider SEO spam. (Watch the video here.)
Obviously, they mean SEO that follows their guidelines, and that’s fair, because following their guidelines means better content, better websites, and a better internet. (Usually.)
You Have To Buy Ads To Rank Organically?
The other thing that this new Google employee said was that it was a “bug” that allowed you to rank organically if you didn’t buy ads, and that Google was trying to fix it. Now that one really upset people.
He also said that if you want to rank, you should be relevant to the users search, and that’s 100% right. You should be relevant. If you rank for a search term you’re not relevant for, then clearly something is wrong. Either Google messed up, or you’re cheating.
But it was the association with ads and organic ranking that really freaked people out.
No You Don’t
The employee made a very quick turnaround on his position, posting a few days later that he shouldn’t have mentioned ads, and that ads had no impact whatsoever on a company’s organic ranking.
He didn’t take back the implication that SEO unfairly manipulates Google somehow, but Google, speaking directly to Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land confirmed that the Matt Cutts video represents their official position on SEO, and that search rankings are unrelated to Google Ads advertising.
You can read Search Engine Land’s article on Google’s clarification here, complete with the quotes from Google’s reply.