It has been estimated that the recent Google algorithm Panda update affected 40% of the global internet, and much of that meant a drastic drop in traffic.
Some say that the last update to Google’s algorithm destroyed some businesses and made way for others. One day the world may decide that allowing a shadowy company like Google to commercially control the open web might be a bad thing but today, there’s little other choice. Google seems to be running the show.
With that understanding it is of paramount importance to ensure that you have an “all-season” approach to your organisation’s SEO strategy. Focusing on fads which are common in the black hat SEO community may provide gains in the short-term, however they could have dire consequences in the future. And any changes to Google’s algorithm have an absolute potential for causing harm retroactively.
For example and in complete layman’s terms, pretend that Google is a hoarder who loves rocks. You spend a whole year stacking up a pile of rocks and you get on page one of Google. And since you gave Google more rocks than your competition, Google put you at number one in search results.
Every day you pile on more rocks to secure your position until one day Google decides it likes bananas more than rocks. Well, all those rocks are not bananas, so now you need to remove all the rocks and replace them with bananas. But it took years to amass the pile of rocks you had and to switch over to bananas it’s going to cost you money to haul away the rocks and then even more money to replace them with bananas. However, by the time you try to replace them, some of your competitors have surpassed you in such great numbers that you’ve lost your place with Google. You’ve lost money, and now you have no more budget to make the change.
And so ends your business.
SEO as an Asset
Every action you take in terms of your website’s SEO strategy is cumulative; if you make mistakes and are negatively impacted, you’ll have to go back and remove all traces of past mistakes before you can start again. This is why black hat methods are dangerous. You might find a company with online marketing services that can deliver results quickly and maybe even very cheaply but can you trust them?
Trust requires experience, so on that note let’s talk about how to make your website less vulnerable to search engine changes.
How to Protect your Website from Search Engine Algorithm Changes
A well rounded SEO strategy will include the following;
- Regular content updates – Posting new and fresh content in a consistent fashion will continually draw traffic and encourage social shares, backlinks, and so on.
- Backlinks – Observe the website quality of sites that you work towards gaining links from (i.e. Guest posts) and try to build a link profile with websites that are reputable in Google’s eyes. Avoid websites with low authority or a spam rating.
- Focus on less competitive keywords – While everyone else is going for the same keywords, you should focus on combining popular keywords with a wide range of related lesser popular keywords.
- Long tail keywords – Long tail keywords are more specific and usually include more information about what the user is searching for. Long tail keywords are also typically used by people ready to buy – a great way to differentiate a tyre-kicker from the real McCoy. For example, who do you think is more likely to buy? A person who searches for “winter jacket” or “Large Canada Goose down winter jacket London UK”? It’s safe to say that people who already know what they want are more likely to convert into customers.
- Don’t dilute your message – Changing keywords, anchor text, or introducing too many keywords into your website copy will only dilute the message Google is receiving. Stay focused!