Google Proof Your Business From Updates With the relative chaos that surrounded Google’s last major search engine algorithm update (Big Daddy) now on the ebb, there is now time to reflect –but not a lot of time. Google will continue to update its search engine algorithms, and sometimes in essential, infrastructural ways, as they seek to improve the quality of searches. Indeed, in all the fuss over Big Daddy the fact that the Jagger update (which temporarily gave msn.com a page rank of 2) preceded it by only two months. While this development is, of course, good in the sense that all who use the machine will have a better machine with which to search, it is a turbulent environment that can materially impact our online businesses –your business. Operations that depend on Page Rank and that have spent the time and resources to cultivate a high one need some assurance that their work won’t be wiped out in a blink. What it requires are a few tactics to improve your chances for surviving Google updates. Here are a couple of tips farmed from several blogs and bulletin boards throughout the web. Essentially what the discussion boils down to is a concern over function. “Google wants to present high quality web sites that are interesting to web surfers in its search results”, says free-seo-news.com. I think everybody can agree that this is true. However, what does it mean? What qualities does Google command its crawlers to analyze for when listing and ranking websites? Furthermore, are there things to be done outside of what we generally think of as SEO activity to improve our chances? Some suggestions for answers to these questions are as follows: First, I can’t tell you exactly what it means, but there are definite qualities Google’s crawlers are programmed to analyze when listing or ranking a page, and while their optimization is never a guarantee in the face of beasts like Big Daddy, it certainly improves your chances. Time and consistency are of the essence. Make sure the website gets regular updates. Keep things fresh. Let the Google-bots know there is stuff going on. As for time, well that kind of runs on its own. Keyword optimization is also growing necessity. The trick is to be strategic. As John Hill, an SEO Professional says in his article for seo-news.com, ‘If you have a ten page website in a highly competitive market then ranking for the major keywords will be close to impossible.’ He suggests using tools to see which keywords relevant to your organization are already heavily contested, and to find alternate keywords to claim. There are other ‘white-hat’ SEO trade tricks, and they are well summarized in a number of places. If you are not familiar with them definitely become acquainted with the basics. Even if you hire someone to do it for you, know the essence of SEO, Google, and their functions. However, as stated above these tricks and techniques are not always a match for the algorithm updates. While staying on top of your website’s SEO is crucial, it is also a good idea to cultivate a customer base in a sphere outside of the Google search –that timeless discussion over eggs and baskets. Do not neglect a mailing list. Do not depend entirely on the search engines for customers. If people like what your website has to offer they may or may not bookmark it, email the link to friends or even link to it from their website. In other words, even with Google’s awesome capabilities, word-of-mouth is still the best of all marketing tools. Stay in the radar. Grow a mailing list and send out newsletters to those who have subscribed; not just any newsletter, a newsletter people can use. Think about it. How do you feel about subscribing and receiving fluff when what you want is information? If you’ve done your job providing good content and staying ‘present’ to a growing number people, your website should be able to better weather the slowed search engine traffic from a Google algorithm storm. Based on bulletin board discussions surrounding Big Daddy it appears some websites spent as long as five or six weeks either listed ‘supplemental’ or with radically diminished Page Rank. While that was an extreme situation, you’re aim should be to try and cultivate a customer or readership base large enough to compensate for such ‘lost’ time so as to make those accidental Google pains less painful.
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