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For some SEOs and most website owners, the prospect of a Google algorithm change is cause for panic, or at least anxiety. But when losing in the rankings can translate to lost views and conversions, it’s an understandable reaction. In every case it means adapting your SEO and website strategies to new protocols and practices in order to keep a competitive hold on the rankings.

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The Google Algorithm is an Ever-changing Animal

What most people don’t know though is that Google is always tweaking their algorithm. They don’t make announcements about these minor updates as they do for the ones that gets names, like Panda and Penguin. But they’re happening, and for the most part the effects on your site are unperceivable.

Moz has a timeline of Google’s updates here, and estimates that their algorithm is tweaked up to 600 times a year. As that hasn’t resulted in 600 hundred blows to your website rankings last year, we can safely say that we can go ahead and keep calm about the task of appeasing all-powerful Google.

Consider Google’s Goals

Yes, it’s to make money, and they do this by making their search engine so competitive that it’s enticing to PPC advertisers. They’ve already cornered the market, with more than two-thirds of the Internet conducting their searches through Google. In the US, it claims 81% of the market share. But Google’s progressive, and progress isn’t born of stagnation. Google understands that to keep the lead, they have to keep innovating.

Google doesn’t just want to be better than Bing and Yahoo; they want to be the best possible search tool for users, and that goal goes hand in hand with creating an algorithm that favors high-quality, user-friendly sites.

Think: What Helps the User?

Google’s number one priority is to make money, and they recognize that putting the user first is critical to accomplishing that goal.

So keep calm and anticipate Google’s next update. You know that whatever it will be, it will be made with the objective to improve search by giving precedence to the sites that have the criteria of high-quality websites. Stay a step ahead of the game by putting your user first in all areas of your site design—aesthetics, functionality, and copy.

Ask yourself this:

  1. Is this helpful to my users?
  2. Is my message clear and free of errors?
  3. How quickly does my site load?
  4. Is anything broken or duplicated? Links? Images? Copy?

Better yet, ask your users.

How has your SEO strategy changed in the wake of Google’s most recent algorithm changes?

Sources

Taylor, Jay. “Why Google Algorithm Updates Shouldn’t Matter.” http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2380543/Why-Google-Algorithm-Updates-Shouldnt-Matter?utm_term=&utm_content=Why%20Google%20Algorithm%20Updates%20Shouldn%E2%80%99t%20Matter&utm_campaign=11%2F11%2F14%20-%20SEW%20Daily&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=Daily. (November 11, 2014.)

“2014 Google, Bing and Yahoo.” http://www.mr-seo.com/seo-articles/2014-google-bing-yahoo/. (November 12, 2014.)