Google Algorithm UpdatesEvery few months, the internet gets particularly upset because Google decided to change something. Fairly regularly, Google updates their search engine algorithm. These updates can be minor, or a complete overhaul of the existing system. The most recent major update was Hummingbird, announced back in September. Since then, however, there have been some minor changes concerning Google Authorship, a Penguin update, and several potential updates coinciding with some SERP fluctuations.

Okay, so Google changes things every once in a while. But how does that affect your site traffic? In the past, major Google updates led to some people’s traffic drastically falling. Google doesn’t approve of black hat SEO and spammers, and they’ve spent a lot of time punishing those people in the past. More recently, Google’s updates have been less visible for the end user and SEO specialists.

Why You Should Care

First of all, you should probably care about Google’s updates because in the SEO industry, your success is fairly dependent on your Google SERP performance. Staying up to date on what is effective, and what is frowned upon by Google can help you tailor your services over time to ensure your (or your clients’) continued success.

Google updates have helped the SEO industry expand from simply building backlinks to managing online presence, branding, and reputation management. Back in the day SEO was only about building links to increase traffic. Now that Google looks at number of links, quality of links, quality of content, quality of reviews, social media interactions, etc., SEO now encompasses more than ever before. Designing and carrying out a successful SEO campaign requires knowledge of the current Google algorithm, as well as a familiarity with many different online marketing disciplines.

Why You Shouldn’t Care

SEO Return on Investment

If you look at Google’s end goal, it’s pretty easy to determine what you need to do to be successful online. Google wants to advertise on successful sites so that they can make the most money possible. That sounds cynical, but these sites are primarily successful because they offer a quality product or service to the consumer. With this in mind, how do you get noticed by Google’s algorithm?

A common saying is, “Content is King.” Google’s end goal with their search engine is not going to change. They want to offer the best search results to the users so that they continue to use Google as opposed to their competitors. Creating high quality content, and offering a worthwhile product or service on your website is a proven way to increase traffic and earn more conversions.

Now there are certain technical optimization steps you should take, which you can read about in the article “What is Technical Optimization?” But the surefire way to get the traffic and conversions you want is to have a product that satisfies people’s wants and needs.

SEO has become more complicated than ever before, but that shouldn’t intimidate you. Google and other companies have equipped us with better tools than ever before to handle the diversity of online marketing.

Photo Credit: PiattiLeti, Alan O’Rourke

Jamie Bates