August 9, 2022

One Google Algorithm Change Spells Disaster

One Google Algorithm Change Spells Disaster
Credit: Digital Trends

It’s a sobering and, more importantly, credible threat: just one Google algorithm change can wipe out your online present and render your site completely irrelevant. Call it the “Google Frenemy” syndrome, or whatever you’d like, the search engine is in business to make money.

And making money means having to deliver the best of the best to its billions of users. It also means with such a large flow of traffic, people are going to try to gain an advantage, any advantage they can. And then, Google algorithm changes hit, and all those tactics become useless.

But, if you realize one key fact, you won’t fall into the trap that’s good today and worthless tomorrow. That one key fact being the search engine has a single purpose and that’s what behind the Google Penguin updates, among others.

What One Google Algorithm Change Can Do

First, there was Panda, then Penguin, then the EMD or Exact Match Domain update. And it kept coming, Panda has been reiterated, so has Penguin, and future updates are slated to roll out. Behind every one is the unmistakable  intent of punishing sites which aren’t growing in an organic, natural matter.

I wrote an article titled, “Is Google Killing Off-Page SEO?” Google it; you’ll quickly find that think piece at the top of the search results. It gets shared through social media on practically a daily basis because it goes to the heart of what the search giant is seeking to do: hold its current rule in its industry.

…people don’t think holistically and don’t make the conscious choice and simply stick to what they have been doing because they’ve seen it work in the past. Even if it is not working as well or if it keeps getting harder or if something like Penguin comes along and penalizes a bunch of the tactics that you were using to get those links, you just stay on the treadmill. That’s where I think things get really dangerous…Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz.org

So how does it best out competitors?

It looks for ways to improve its service–all the time.

And, those improvements have to be nearly or completely free of workarounds SEOs and others can exploit to gain a higher ranking without really being the actual best source for specifically targeted queries. Hence, continuous algorithmic changes are done to make its machine think and act more like a human being.

That’s all semantic SEO is when it comes down to it. So forget about Google PageRank, which even Matt Cutts has said is pretty much useless.

Preparing for the Inevitable

It’s not if your car is going to break down, it’s when. It’s not if your water heater stops working, it’s when. It’s never a question of “if“, it’s always “when“. Changes for ranking in Google, will too, be a matter of when. So, to insulate your online presence from future changes, you need to do three things starting right now: drill down, branch out, and take a long view:

  • Get more specific more often. If you seek to improve your Google page ranking, then start publishing content that’s more specific. For instance, if you’re a real estate broker or agent, publish content that’s general (like how to stage a home for less), then begin to drill down. Talk about a specific community, publishing an article about sales figures. In other words, embrace a niche while still offering evergreen content.
  • Start talking about similar things. Taking the above example of a real estate professional, you can publish a blog post which speaks about getting the best mortgage deal, even though you aren’t a mortgage broker or banker. Think of it this way, if you were an engineer with a search engine, your ultimate wish would be to wave a magic wand and have your software understand similar concepts because people search with the intent of finding information that’s related to their goal.
  • Stay away from short cuts. The lottery only works when you are the lucky one out of gazillions. Short cuts are more often a way to more trouble than benefit. Do what the search engines’ publicly ask people and businesses to do: write quality, informative content, and publish it on a regular basis.

And finally, don’t fret over the near-impossible. Constantly consulting a rank checker or trying to get on page one of Google is only going to cost you time and money. Instead, focus on more traffic to your site and getting more leads and conversions through blogging.

Owen E. Richason IV

Covers social media, apps, search, and similar news. History buff, movie, and theme park lover. Blessed dad and husband.     

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