Is the latest update to the Google search algorithm going to hurt your rankings?
Discover the best approach to keeping your search rank safe in the wake of a new algorithm update.
Google has updated their algorithm yet again with the Penguin update, marking yet another update that has business owners, marketers and SEO professionals scrambling to make sure their search rank remains intact.
While Google has the best of intentions with their updates, this fear, concern and discourse is the most common response from the general public – but why?
Why Google Updates their Algorithm – If It Aint Broke…
Marketers and SEO professionals may give a collected sigh when updates occur, because it means potential changes to the way they do business, but there’s a sound reason behind the algorithm updates in every case.
While we utilize search engines for marketing and info gathering, we have to remember that Google is a business. Their business is search, and in business we try to deliver the best experience to our customers. These updates are designed to do just that. In most cases Google is advancing the way their algorithm indexes content and serves it up in response to a search query.
Many of the updates such as the Panda update and the most recent Penguin update are designed to limit the visibility and performance of web spam in order to deliver more focused, targeted and relevant search results to the user. If Google didn’t make these changes, and search queries returned spammy pages and affiliate content, duplicate content, poor quality sites with thin content and sales-oriented pages then their search users would move on to a different search engine in order to find information or a solution to their problem.
Will Algorithm Changes Affect my Search Rank?
There’s no definitive answer as to whether or not an update to Google’s algorithm will affect how you site or content ranks. For some, their pages never move. For others they may see content move up or down.
It’s difficult to know if an update to the algorithm will affect your search rank because there are hundreds of factors that are considered in determining the relevancy of a given page of content when someone types in a query.
Here are two great videos from Google’s Matt Cutts about how their search engine works and ranks content
How do I Protect My Search Results
One of the best ways to ensure better search results, and avoid the hammer coming down on you for making errors with your SEO and content marketing, is to stick to “SEO best practices”. Search Engine Land shared an invaluable resource known as the Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors which showcased positive ranking factors as well as those things that can negatively impact your search rank.
The concept is simple when you look at the big picture of how Google works; the search engine giant wants to deliver the most valuable experience to search users. They’re looking for quality, original, authoritative content that is certain to deliver value. That means content that is
• Well written
• Not duplicated (original)
• Relevant to the search query of the user
• Value oriented
• Socially sharable (and readily shared)
If you want to avoid losing your rankings, and improving the rank of your existing site, then always focus on delivering valuable content to your target audience through articles, blogs, social media content, engagement, video and more.
Avoid spammy practices like link bait, building low quality links, duplicate article submission and syndication, mass content curation and hidden content designed to manipulate your search rank. If you always focus on delivering value to your customers with naturally optimized content, you will never have to worry about losing your rank to an algorithm change.
Checkout this infographic that explains the different Google algorithm changes since 1998.
Thanks to the source of this infographic: ticsyformacion.com.
What has been your experience with changes to the Google search algorithm? Leave a reply below.