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Google Algorithm Changes & Updates 2010: Part Two
Monday, June 28, 2010
Last week, we wrote about all of the Google updates that have happened thus far in 2010.  A number of these updates will, and already have, had a direct impact on SEO efforts of site owners.  SEO and organic search marketing is evolving and changing, it simply has to, in order to keep up with the innovations of the search engines.  The search results are as dynamic as they have ever been.  Being present for a given key phrase is not as simple as it once was.  There is no question that the Google algorithm updates will continue to have a profound impact on which sites appear in the SERPs and when.

 Google Algorithm Changes & Updates 2010:  Part Two:  Dealing with Algorithm Updates & Search Engine Changes

So what does this mean for you as a site owner?  Well a couple of things, or perhaps nothing.  We say nothing, because if you have created a site that delivers fresh, useful and informative content, you should not be impacted greatly by all of the changes from Google.  Also, many times the best way to handle a search engine algorithm update is to simply do nothing and see how everything plays out.  Let's remind folks of some of the best tips when dealing with a search engine update
  1. Don't Panic - unless you are leveraging some very questionable tactics, you may not need to panic just because an algorithm update is taking place.

  2. Keep your site well optimized - there are enough "crappy" sites out on the Web, does yours have to be one too?  Keep on top of on-page optimization and ensure that the topics of your site are clear and consistent.  Create and follow your SEO requirements.  Google actually does a pretty good job through Google Webmaster Tools at communicating issues with one's site.  Pay attention to this stuff and ensure that you site is well optimized.  If anything else ensure that the fundamentals are addressed.  What are the fundamentals you ask, well here are a couple:

    • Optimize Title Tags

    • Optimize meta descriptions

    • Optimize on-page headings/H1 tags

    • Optimize page copy

    • Leverage keyword rich anchor text when interlinking site pages

  3. Keep an eye on the SERPs within the search engines - regularly perform spot checks for some of your important key phrases in the search engines.  Pay attention to the SERP landscape.  Are you seeing the same sites?  Are you seeing more video results appear?  More local listings?  More news releases?  Have you dropped from the prime real estate?
  4. Be Patient - quite often the engines will test major changes for months prior to releasing the update outright.  This can provide you with time to make any necessary changes if required, however if you have a well optimized site that is effectively crawled by the engines you should be ok.  
  5. Keep Informed - if you have heard through the grapevine that there has been a major search engine update, check out some of the industry related blogs and sites out there.  Here's a couple that we'd recommend:
 What else can be done to deal with all of these Google updates and algo changes?  Here are some additional items to consider.
  1. Ensure that your site always has fresh content - Google is looking for the most relevant information to return to users based on a given search query.  Content is not king for nothing.  Content is and will always be key to gaining a greater presence in the online space.  Having said that, do not go out and create a bunch of garbage that can already be found on the Web.  Try to make your content unique and informative.

  2. Become educated about Search and share your knowledge - your online teams should be well versed in how search engines operate, but there is something to be said for keeping on top of major search engine developments and sharing this information throughout your organization.  Knowledge transfer is key to ensuring that everyone is on the same page, from copywriters to your technical and analytics teams.

  3. Keyword Research should never stop - think relevancy, what may have been relevant to your audience 10 years ago may not be as relevant today or may not be as relevant next month.  Establish a process for conducting on-going keyword research which in turn will assist you with ensuring that your site always features some fresh content.  Messaging is important as is the format it is delivered in.  (Read: video, press releases, blog posts. tweets, etc).  Apply relevant keywords to your copy when presented with the opportunity.  Factor in head, torso and long-tail as part of your keyword research strategy.

  4. Always ensure that your site is spiderable - always, always, always ensure that the search engines can find, crawl and index your content.  It never ceases to amaze me about all of the sites that restrict important content from being crawled by the search engines.  Learn how to properly use a robots.txt in conjunction with no index and/or no follow tags.  Do not make it harder for the crawlers than it needs to be.

Google makes upward of 500-600 changes to their algorithm every year.  While not everyone of these changes will have a direct impact on your site, algorithm updates and changes do happen.  Pay attention to what the engines are doing and do not necessarily overreact.

We will conclude our series next week, with Google Algorithm Changes & Updates part three.

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    posted by Jody @ Monday, June 28, 2010  
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