It’s no secret that Google uses hundreds of signals to determine the quality of a web page. The Google team is constantly making adjustments to their algorithms in an effort to better read these signals and improve search results. However, what you may not know is the algorithms (and Google’s team) sometimes purposely overlook certain items.

What gets overlooked and how does this affect ranking? Let’s discuss!

Items That Google Can Overlook or Exclude

Google wants to be as fair as possible in their search results. Sure, they’ll knock a website down in the rankings or blacklist it entirely if the site is using shady SEO tactics, but that doesn’t appear to happen a lot of the time.

Instead, Google tries to focus on the positive attributes of a website and weigh them against the negatives to come up with an all-encompassing rank determination. In a recent Google hangout video chat Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller discussed this very topic.

John said that rather than automatically dinging a website, questionable items are sometimes excluded by the search algorithms and completely ignored. Items that are purposely overlooked include:

  • Questionable manual links
  • Spam links
  • Keyword stuffing

Therefore, many black hat SEO tricks are nothing more than a waste of time, money and energy. The filtered items won’t necessarily harm your ranking, but they won’t help either. If your site offers real value you may still rank high in the SERPs, but it won’t be from any spammy strategies.

John stressed that this doesn’t mean certain high-value websites get a spamming pass. They can still be penalized, and Google’s quality control team will do a manual audit that could result in a ranking drop if they breach the webmaster guidelines.

How Google Determines What to Overlook

The many signals used by Google aren’t created equal. Each one is weighed differently and their importance can change, even from one search query to the next. This is beneficial for SEOs and website owners because it means you don’t have to necessary outperform the competition in any one SEO tactic.

In truth, collectively weighing the signals of a web page is a bit of a balancing act. The main goal is to figure out what’s truly relevant on a website. To do that Google filters out certain items in an effort to better gauge what’s of real value. Any black hat or spammy items that can be easily filtered by the algorithms get disregarded.

The unfiltered questionable items do get factored in, and it may result in the Google quality control team taking manual action to filter out certain items.

Why waste your time and money on SEO tactics that are just going to be ignored? When you work with SearchRPM you’ll benefit from proven strategies that are known to improve both ranking and user experience. Give us a call today or visit us online to get a Free SEO Report for your website.

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By Michael Ramirez
SearchRPM Founder


Michael Ramirez is the Founder of SearchRPM, an Austin, TX based search marketing company that’s well-versed in Search Engine Optimization best practices. You can follow Michael Ramirez on Twitter @openmic0323 or on Google+ to see what he’s up to next.