A question that would haunt a SEO Strategist constantly, “Is my SEO strategy affected by algorithm updates?” And the answer is, “Yes”. Google‘s algorithm for ranking websites is always evolving and also getting complex. Many a times, it becomes hard to understand which factors of the SEO strategy is putting a website at the top in the search results. So why bother about just Google? Well, according to comScore, Google remains by far the dominant search engine with 67% of the overall market followed by Microsoft sites.
If we take a peep in to the past, we all know that Google Panda is a change to Google’s search results ranking algorithm that was first released in February 2011. The change aimed to lower the rank of “low-quality” sites and return “higher-quality” sites near the top of the search results. In short, Panda update of Google forced us to alter the SEO strategy from making better HTML pages to becoming better content writers.
Next came the Penguin update. Penguin is a code name given for the Google algorithm update that was first announced in April 2012. The update was aimed at lowering the search engine rankings of websites that violated Google’s own Webmaster Guidelines which involved the use of manipulating the number of links pointing to a page on the website. In short, the Penguin update made everyone re-strategize once again and alter their plans for link building.
Recently Google announced a big change with a new algorithm by the code name of “Hummingbird”. This change is less of an algorithm update but more of an update to the core search algorithm of Google’s Search. With this update, Google wanted people to search as if they are having a conversation with the search engine and the engine also returned results in a similar fashion. Voice was also introduced. In short, Hummingbird asked us to consider conversational search queries in the content we write for a website.
The Question – “Who is the Fairest of Them All?”
No matter how small the algorithm update, it does directly reflect on the SEO strategy that may have been planned by an SEO Specialist for a website. Yes, SEO is a tricky business and getting your results – the right way, is a daunting task. But then as SEO Specialists we all know that the web is changing every second and Google (since it is the widely visited site) is in the driving seat. The roles of an SEO Specialist has changed over years and they are being tasked with more after each update to the algorithm. In fact, the definition of SEO has also broadened and it is nearly impossible for an SEO strategy to be fulfilled by a single person. It requires a team with a mix of skills to perform quality SEO today.
It is now evident and accepted by all – Google has a tendency of pushing lot of major and minor updates to the way it ranks pages in the search results. The techniques change. The factors change. The details change. But the basic concept remains the same.
Google wants to provide its users with the best search options available. Remember that there are other search engines out there, but Google is by far the most used. All the algorithm changes Google has made have been to bring the search engine closer to providing users with the best, most relevant and information-rich content. Remember that today the role of an SEO Specialist is much more than attracting visitors to a website. It’s more about conversions. It’s all about building a brand. It’s all about having a social media presence. It’s all about unique content. It’s all about business.
My personal take away from this: Be unique while writing content, monitor your site visitors through Google analytics, and get social media presence where people talk about you. After all, content still is the king.
Strategize for organic traffic and you shall live and cherish for years to come. Let the algorithm’s change. We shall survive while we plan our Transitional SEO strategy. We shall still be the fairest of them all.
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