Google makes changes in its algorithm all the time, but the recent change in the algorithm has had major effects on some websites’ rankings.
We weren’t affected negatively, and none of our clients lost rank, but we’re seeing discussions in forums from people who lost a lot of ground. In fact, we’ve just finished a site update for one of the affected websites; they went from #2 for their main keyword to #13, a change that can result in the loss of a lot of business.
We hope that the site update will make all the difference.
The question that keeps arising, though, is this: How can a website strategize for search engine algorithms if they keep changing? Some commenters are writing rants about how Google can, at one fickle stroke, ruin their business. It’s unfair, they say, and Google shouldn’t have that kind of power.
Here’s the thing: Google doesn’t work for website owners. Google works for people looking for stuff on the web. Once things reached the point where people trying to find a hotel to stay at had to click three pages in to get past irrelevant ads disguised as content and actually find a hotel, the search algorithm wasn’t working well, and it needed to be fixed.
That’s easy for me to say. We specialize in quality content. Google favors quality content. Changes in the algorithm benefit us and our clients, because they clean out the sites trying to game the system and leave the way clear for sites with quality content. I don’t want to sound like I’m saying “Nah, nah, nah!” But Google has always, in all official statements, said that their goal is to offer the best user experience to their customers — that is, people using Google to search the web.
Site owners who have been operating on the assumption that Google has been lying about that are now having problems.
How about a change of strategy? How about operating on the assumption that Google, and the rest of the search engines, really are trying to offer their users a positive user experience. How about trying to offer your customers a good user experience?
It’s hard to see any downside for that strategy.