In the last few months, Google has moved ahead with blocking more SEO tactics. They banned guest blogging (you pay a company to post comments in blogs), aggressive backlinks, and much of SEO based on keywords. The purpose of these tactics was of course to get commercial sites (and webpages) into Google’s search results.
This will continue. Yandex stopped counting backlinks to commercial sites. There is strong incentive for a business to buy links, so instead of tracking good and bad links, Yandex simply threw them all out. I’ll guess that Google will follow in 2014. This will kill a major part of the SEO industry.
But let’s go to the point: the problem isn’t the shady (or illegal) tactics. The problem is the business sites themselves: If they get traffic from a search engine, they make revenue. Thus there is a strong financial motivation to do anything to get more traffic, including cheat.
But Google knows that visitors want fair, objective information so they can make decisions. Therefore Google will give preference to objective informational sites. These sites must be neutral and independent.
Can a business build an objective informational site?
The company’s core interest is to make sales and revenue. If the desire for revenues comes in conflict with the desire to distribute information, revenues will win. A company will never say something that hurts their core interest. They will not recommend a competitor. So a company can not offer objective information.
So where is it going to go with search engines? They can solve the spam problem by getting rid of the motivation for it: they can block commercial sites and pages from appearing as information in the search results.
This would be easy to do. First of all, if a business wants to sell in Google, it should use advertising. The visitors know that these are ads and treat them accordingly. This leads to the second: commercial sites should marked as commercial sites so the visitors won’t confuse them for information. The sites could be marked off in a box. This wouldn’t be a big change because in fact, this is what is already being done: visitors know the ads are advertising.
This would go a long way towards cleaning up SEO and digital marketing by removing the incentive to manipulate the search results. Just like Yandex, Google should stop using backlinks. Commercial sites should be moved to their own section in search results.