Optimizing for Google – Were they all lies?

Each of the search engines have their own unique criteria for relevancy. Google is no exception, and is usually the most mystical. In our tests, msn and Yahoo respond very quickly to SEO efforts, but Google take a little more time and finesse. And every once in a while, you see something in Google’s search results that makes no sense.

Over at Intrapromote, Erik noticed recently that a search for 2007 Ford Explorer is yielding some very confusing results. He noticed that one text link was getting a site into Google’s top 10 for this competitive keyword. No giant SEO campaign, no link popularity project, and no compelling, fresh content. Just a single link. Compare the power this link has – this lame site is being ranked above relevant content in yahoo auto’s, about.com and auto magazine. Surely this content is more helpful to potential visitors?!
And so, where is this illustrious link from? The Google DataCenter? Or perhaps Sergey Brin‘s blog? Nope. The link is from a page almost as lame: www.egateway.us/elist.html This link should also have no real weight, either. Erik points out that the egateway page has pretty much nothing but junk links pointing to it.

Didn’t Google tell us this wouldn’t work any more? That fresh, relevant content and popular, themed links are the only way to get to the top of Google? If Matt Cutts were dead, he’d roll over in his grave. Thankfully, he is alive and – hopefully – well. Matt, what the heck is going on here? Please wave your mighty spam wand at the site – Google only wants good sites in their SERPs, right? (But please tell us how to achieve the same result with RELEVANT content before you do!)

I’m interested to see Erik’s analysis, and will keep poking around in these links to see what the secret could be!