And many webmasters fear Google. Because the new update is running now and people already see what happens when they employ unethical means to inflate search engine rankings: their websites and blogs drop off the first Google pages.
For example, the other day John Chow was ranking among the top ten results for his favourite keyword phrase: make money online. Now he is nowhere in the picture. You have to browse a lot to find him on google.com – right now to the fifth page, but who knows what happens tomorrow?
Why the drop? I assume it is because the number of links with that particular anchor text that point to his website is too large. The links were coming too fast too. The “review John Chow’s blog” fever seems to run forever. Any beginner wants a link back from the master of making money online. Too bad that John didn’t vary the anchor text a bit.
The moral of the story: participating in link schemes (even the most innocent ones, like fave trains and memes) might get you into trouble, no matter how well optimised your pages are. So don’t link to bad neighbours, stay away from risky link exchanges, don’t do bulk submissions to directories and other websites. Take care of the content of the site and respect your readers. This is how you will stay out of trouble and into the SERPs.
SEO focuses more and more on the real value of a site and less on irrelevant SE placements. SEO should bring you relevant traffic, and users who really look for what you have to offer.