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Google Algorithm Changes

Written By: langdon on December 9, 2011 No Comment

Google Algorithm Changes

The past twelve to eigh­teen months has seen unprece­dented change in the search engines but espe­cially Google.  We have seen algo­rithm changes like never before as Google con­tin­ues to try and serve up the best results to users as pos­si­ble.

Google has been rolling out addi­tional algo­rithm updates includ­ing the recent Fresh­ness Update whereby as Google states the new fresh­ness algo­rithm “…bet­ter deter­mines when to give you more up-to-date rel­e­vant results for these vary­ing degrees of fresh­ness.”  The pur­pose of this update which is to pri­or­i­tize “recent” & “timely” results. The goal is to sur­face more recently pub­lished con­tent in the results relat­ing to cer­tain types of queries.

Just because you have vis­i­bil­ity for in the top spot in Google today does not mean that you will have this vis­i­bil­ity tomor­row (even if you have ranked num­ber one for years).  Organic search means that we are at the mercy of the algo­rithms, there are sim­ply some things that are out of our con­trol and we just have to let the algo­rithms run their course.  How­ever there are some things that you as online mar­keters, web­mas­ters, site own­ers and SEOs can do to keep on top of the algo­rithm updates.

So what will you need to effec­tively drive your online and dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing efforts while deal­ing with search engine algo­rithm updates?  Here are a few items that will help you pre­pare for cur­rent and future algo­rithm updates

1. Be aware of the algo­rithm updates – pay atten­tion to when Google releases/announces an algo­rithm change or update.  Google is get­ting bet­ter at com­mu­ni­cat­ing these announce­ments via their Inside Search [http://insidesearch.blogspot.com/] or Offi­cial Google Blogs [http://googleblog.blogspot.com/].

2. Cre­ate a Year-over-Year (YOY) Google Traf­fic Com­par­i­son – com­pare your monthly organic traf­fic in Google between 2010 and 2011.  Was your site in fact impacted by Google algo­rithm changes?  Or was this sim­ply a result of your own site errors?  Google tends (but not always) to release algo­rithm updates in the first quar­ter (Jan-Mar) and in Octo­ber.  Pay atten­tion to your traf­fic trends in these months.

3. Clean up dupli­cate con­tent – this is a prob­lem with almost every site.  Dupli­cate con­tent can be caused indi­rectly where you may not even be aware that you have dupli­cate con­tent on your site.  Take inven­tory of your con­tent and make intel­li­gent deci­sions about how to syn­di­cate your con­tent.  Look for future Google algo­rithms to be tak­ing a harder look at dupli­cate con­tent.  Address this now so that you are not impacted in a neg­a­tive man­ner later.

4. Work on improv­ing usabil­ity and site engage­ment – cre­ate a site that peo­ple will not only want to visit, but will want to stay on once they arrive there.  Cre­ate a site where peo­ple will want to share your con­tent, link to your con­tent and return to your content.

5. Cre­ate high qual­ity con­tent – for­get about push­ing out those lame arti­cles just for the sake of adding con­tent to your site.  Cre­ate con­tent that helps your site become the author­ity on your sub­ject mat­ter.  Con­tent is the secret to your suc­cess.  More specif­i­cally highly engag­ing, high qual­ity con­tent will serve you well. 

Google has been aggres­sive with their algo­rithm changes and updates.  While we are all at the mercy of the mighty algo­rithms, we can take solace in the fact that if we pro­duce high qual­ity con­tent and cre­ate a highly engag­ing site expe­ri­ence, regard­less of Google algo­rithm changes, we will expe­ri­ence suc­cess in our dig­i­tal and online efforts.

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