Google is one most impressive tool used by people to make a name for their brands over the web and webmasters love and hate Google at the same time. Search engine optimization is very important for online success, but the process has become very confusing and the rules have also become very difficult to follow… even for the one that imposed them. More and more websites are built and they focus on SEO from the start. Even if webmasters take steps in the right direction and they clean up sites that are built focusing on design first hand, few of them really understand SEO. The never-ending changes made by Google to its algorithm and the way it displays query results make success driven small businesses and webmasters quite frustrated. The guidelines Google puts out are difficult to follow and they have issues coping with their own demands. They had some trouble in the past, but there are some recent mistakes as well. Here are a few examples. Above the fold Let’ start with what you find on your own site. The content of your web presence is very important and Google has developed an improvement for the page layout algorithm. This implies that you have to post the content on your site so that people will see it as soon as they will click on the link rather than wasting time scrolling down to check the rest of the page. If you do not comply, you are most likely to be penalized, but when you conduct a search for example on diabetes using Google, you first get two paid AdWords and the organic results are lower on the page and you have to scroll down to find them, especially on mobile devices. Keyword rich anchors Using keywords is normal in a site and using links to navigate is also common. Combining the two has been prohibited by Google since they say it is just like being a part of a link scheme. The most expensive keyword you will find in Google AdWords is insurance and this is also the example they use for the link scheme. Even if they are clear about the rule regarding no keyword rich anchors, they were the ones that used them in this post before they edited it (as you can see here). Footer links for site credit One of the other elements you will find on your site is a link at the bottom of the page that will offer credit to the company that has built your web presence. The majority of web design companies used the credit footer links. In a recent post Google stated that these links must use a nofollow tag in the footer, thus insinuating a penalty if they do not cope with the demands. One of the strange things about this issue is that Google Sites, the tool offered by Google for creating web pages uses the same sort of footer links on the sites creating with its help. As you can see from this example, it means they break the rules they have imposed on their own. Guest blog posting There are other practices that do not use your site directly. Guest blogging is and will always be a big part of the web. High quality guest posts are very important, but low quality guest posts are indeed a form of web spam. Even if Matt Cutts, the leader of the Google web spam team stated that guest blogging is over, the rest of the team did not see eye to eye with this. Google has its own practices when it comes to guest blogging. If they find it acceptable, this means the rest of the world should too. Content scrapping Copying the content found on other sites without original content or added value is seen as content scrapping and it is going to be penalized. If you try to look for details on how to boil an egg with Google, you will find the entire post of Martha Stewart’s site directly in the result. This means Google uses that content directly on its own page with no original content or value added to it. Since it keeps people from visit Martha’s site, this can be seen as content scrapping. Given that there are so many rules you have to follow, even Google, one of the most successful companies in history and the creator of the rules overlooks some of them. It is hard for a small business to stay on top of the game and many webmasters are frustrated by it, but you should put every effort into promoting your business over the web fairly. If you succeed in building links naturally, this is going to offer more satisfaction than you can imagine and it will lead to your online success.