It really gets tiring reading all of the comments "suggesting" what Google likes and what it penalizes, especially when my own search results show completely different conclusions. Google doesn't like duplicate content (found on 1st page for almost any search), keyword stuffing (just came across a squi... I mean "the other site" page ranking on the 1st page of Google with the keyword phrase literally in every sentence!), over-promotional (adsense and affiliate pages litter the top spots of Google rankings), and on and on.
It is apparent that it is nothing more than trial and error as to what catches on. It would be nice to really be able to believe that good quality content is what gets rewarded, but I'm sorry, the proof is not there.
I write for several different sites, and I know for a fact that many of the articles I have not put much effort into rank higher than ones that are in-depth and provide more value.
Sorry for the rant, but the never ending Google conjectures get old! Let's hear what IS working instead what the big G may or may not like.
If others love you, then Google loves you. If others don't, then Google wont.
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