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Google is Changing the Rules… Are you in the Game?

Last Updated on Mar 14, 2011 by Jeff Lew

Caffeine, Mayday, Farmer…to website owners these terms spell “doom” as the fate of their businesses
lie in the hands of the almighty Google. Google’s ranking algorithms can be likened to the stock
market…you spend years building a viable business and in one second you can lose it all. How can online
business owners ensure they are not taken out by Google’s latest escapades?

Google is constantly changing its algorithms to provide its users with the most relevant, high-quality
search results; however, every so often it makes significant changes that affect thousands of websites
in many different industries. This latest update (Farmer) resulted in major traffic losses for many
businesses, some as high as 40%. These changes seem to be affecting “content farms” or sites that seed
tons of articles daily in an attempt to increase their rankings.

Not a content farm? You can breathe a sigh of relief for now, but Google will keep changing and evolving
and no business is exempt from its influence.

How can you beat Google in its tracks?

Unless you are a multi-billionaire, you can never beat a Google algorithm change. However, you can
implement the best strategies and tactics to maintain your rankings. Because Google is intent on
providing its searchers with the most value and the highest quality websites, regardless of your size, you
can still compete and play by the rules.

Search engine optimization is slowly becoming a lost art as Google is getting smarter and smarter with
its algorithms. We have even seen sites “reverse SEO” in an attempt to satisfy Google’s longing for value.

You can either drive yourself crazy trying to figure out the latest SEO tips, or you can follow these 3
actionable steps to help your business stay at the top:

1. High Quality Content – Google loves content, even with the latest algorithm change. High quality
content refers to words that offer true value to your customers and prospects and are not
simply ploys to inject a few SEO keywords.

2. Get Social – With the last few algorithm changes Google is placing more weight on how “others”
view your website. Factors such as: how long users stay on your site (the more valuable your
site, the longer your visitors will stay), how many likes and comments you earn on your YouTube
video and other social media related factors will play a major role in the coming years. Google
has started, in the last year, indexing many more Twitter pages and posts based on keywords
and they will continue to do so in the future.

3. Others first – If a proposed action seems even the slightest bit questionable, discard it. Ask
yourself this question before you implement any strategy, “Am I offering value to my audience
with this action?” If you cannot honestly answer, “yes”, consider a different strategy.

The best tactic is to implement strategies today to protect your business and website tomorrow. Refrain
from questionable tactics and seek to give your website visitors the best experience. By taking greed
and selfishness off the table, you stand a much better chance of outwitting the almighty Google and
ensuring the success of your business for the long haul.

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