Have you tried to get a site to rank recently?  Everyday Google seems to tweek their search algorithm.  First there was the Farmer update, also known as the Panda update(Feb. 23, 2012). This algorithm change dropped many of the article directories down in ranking and punished link farms.  The intent was to close a loophole that allowed the link farms to rank high in the search engines at the expense of good quality sites.

Next came Penguin, another update by Google to cause the sites gaming the system to get low ranking results. This one targeted sites that were buying links to get rankings.  Since the first Penguin update there have been several more smaller updates targeting this group of people trying to game the system.

Following the animal updates Google applied yet another algorithm change targeted at people buying exact match domain names.  This one has been dubbed the EMD update and occurred in late September 2012.

With all of these things happening the world of SEO or Search Engine Optimization has changed.  Matt Cutts the head of Google’s webspam team has this to say about Search Engine Optimization.

So what I think he is saying is that when creating a website that you want to rank in Google, make the user experience uppermost in your mind.  Create good content and a great user experience.  This will optimize the search experience for your user.

Here’s another take on the subject by Magistudios, a marketer and SEO that I respect and admire.