Google Algorithms: Should You Fear Them?
Website designers and business owners are constantly being bombarded with news about 'HUGE' Google algorithms. Fear and panic can easily be spread by SEOs, just at the sight of words like 'Panda' or 'Penguin.' But the reality is that these algorithms, and the changes made to them, shouldn't lead to the ringing of panic bells across the globe.
So should you fear the Google algorithms?
During the last few months, webmasters, SEOs and business owners have reported unexpected fluctuations to rankings. While unexpected, no knowledgeable or white hat SEO specialists should ignore the possibility that Google will at some point change its algorithms. After all, would you honestly expect Google to never change anything? In fact, would you even want them not to?
Let's face, it, it would be incredibly weird and poor form from Google if there wasn't ever fluctuation. That would mean that they don't change or improve their search results, which could have a negative impact on a website's performance. And none of us want that.
Google algorithms are all about site quality
While algorithms focus on different things every time, they're always aimed at doing one thing; prioritising well designed and written websites that promote a great user experience. In a recent SEO conference in Brighton in September, Gary Illyes, a webmaster trends analysis specialist, stated the following:
"Every single update that we make is around quality of the site or general quality, perceived quality of the site, content and the links. All these are in the Webmaster Guidelines. When there's something that is not in line with our Webmaster Guidelines, or we change an algorithm that modifies the Webmaster Guidelines, then we update the Webmaster Guidelines as well. I would say that for the vast majority, and I'm talking about probably over 95%, 98% of the algorithm launches are not actionable for webmasters. And that's because we may change, for example, which keywords from the page we pick up. That's because we see that people in a certain region put up the content differently and we want to adapt to that."
Changes are inevitable, so learn from them and adapt
As SEOs, webmasters and website designers, it would be remiss of us not to expect changes at one time or another. The best thing you can do is learn from existing algorithm changes and adapt to new ones in the future. Rather than panic at even the mere mention of a new algorithm change, why not focus on how best to optimise your website? Google's changes are always aimed at prioritising websites with better user experience. So make sure you're focusing on ensuring your website does exactly that.
If, in the past, your website was massively affected by a change to one of Google's algorithms, look at what might have caused the drops and learn from it. Use the knowledge gained to improve the look and feel of your site and the overall user experience.
Later on in his discussion at the Brighton SEO conference, Gary Illyes confirmed what we've all suspected;
"Basically, if you publish high quality content that is highly cited on the internet, and I'm not talking about just links but also mentions on social networks and people talking about your branding, then you are doing great. And fluctuations will always happen to your traffic. We can't help that; it would be really weird if there wasn't fluctuation, because that would mean we don't change, we don't improve our search results anymore."
The answer is simple; keep doing what you're doing
Provided you're using white-hat SEO techniques that is.
The algorithms are likely to change from time to time. They may even cause slight fluctuations in your website's search results. But if you're doing things the right way you should be fine. Put simply, if you're sticking to the trusted techniques of white-hat SEO, you're not likely to be affected too much. As Simon Ensor of Search Engine Watch rightly states;
"Many may complain that Google moves the goalposts but in actual fact, the fundamentals remain the same. Avoiding manipulative behaviour, staying relevant, developing website authority and thinking about your users are four simple factors that will go a long way to keeping you on the straight and narrow. The Google updates are inevitable. Techniques will evolve, and results will require some hard graft. Every campaign is different, but if you stick to the core principles of white-hat SEO, you need not take notice of the sweeping statements that abound in our corner of the marketing world. Nor should you have to fear future Google updates."
Google algorithms will change but you shouldn't fear them
As business owners and SEOs, these regular changes can be frustrating. Ranking fluctuations need to be explained and understood. But the most important thing to take from them is that they are designed at improving the user experience. So if you're optimising your website the right way, you're not likely to be affected too much. Learn from previous Google algorithms so you don't fear future ones.
At Smart Domain Group, we specialise in effective white-hat SEO techniques. We have experienced search engine optimisation experts and marketing copywriters who know how to write engaging and effective content. So if you want a small business website that adheres to Google's standards and algorithms, look no further. Contact our friendly team today on 01634 810600 to discuss your requirements.