Google recently implemented a new search algorithm called "Panda". Panda penalizes sites with low-quality content and those that use "link farms" (a group of web sites that all have links to every other site in the group) to artificially increase search rankings.
When determining the quality of content, Google looks at the amount of traffic on the page as well as how many users leave the site without navigating to other pages (bounce rate). They also look at the originality of the content, spelling and grammar, and the ad-to-content ratio -- especially near the top of the page.
More info on the new algorithm:
If you use a SEO (search engine optimization) company, make sure they aren't trying to game the system with link farms or your site's rankings will suffer. Whether or not you use SEO, it's more important than ever to provide well-written, current, and value-added content on your web site if you want to boost traffic.
It's unclear how Panda impacts sites built with Flash, but since search engines can't directly read content from Flash sites their rankings will probably suffer as well.
Unfortunately most cake decorators use Flash and don't understand how bad this is for ranking in the search engines. Flash has always suffered, nothing new. There are probably 500 different factors that Google looks at to determine site value but this is a good starting list. In my opinion, quality of links is the #1 most important factor followed by content.
Thanks, Jason. I'll send this to my web designer right away.
thanks Jason! I don't have a site designer so I guess I'll have to muddle through....if you have any tips personally on how to boost traffic, let us know!!
I think that's great news. There's nothing worse than doing a google search for something and pulling up nothing but badly written one-paragraph 'articles' surrounded by paid ads. I'm pretty sure that's the sort of junk they're hoping to get rid of.