Even with the best online marketing services to hand, rankings do have a horrible habit of fluctuating. You can spend huge amounts of money on strategy, but - if your online marketing agency isn't prepared for Google updates - it could all go out of the window very quickly indeed.
So what are Google updates and why do they cause such havoc with your place on the search engines? Above all, how can you make sure that you're investing in online marketing services that are future-proof and will withstand even the more radical change in Google's algorithm?
What are Google Updates?
In basic terms, a Google update occurs when the techie team at the search engine giant make changes to the way websites are viewed and ranked. Google uses an algorithm to work out where your website belongs in the rankings. There are hundreds of different factors, which Google's algorithm takes into consideration, some of the most crucial factors are:
- Internal links
- External links
- Anchor text
- Web copy (originality)
- Social metrics
- Site architecture
Agencies providing on-the-ball online marketing services will make sure that your site ticks all of the right boxes with regards to these factors. This will get your website ranking highly. Yet it isn't quite so simple because Google are constantly changing the goal posts. To paraphrase one person's remark at the recent Brighton SEO conference: "Google are the opposing team as well as the referee, plus they own the ball, the pitch and the goal posts!"
Every time Google updates their algorithm, the way they rank websites shifts. There are hundreds of updates every year and usually they are very subtle, but sometimes these updates are big news and can make a big impact. For example...
Many online marketing service providers will shudder at the mention of Google Panda. It was a huge update to the algorithm, which was designed to eliminate the use of unhelpful, duplicate and plagairised content and give priority to highly original, high quality websites. It hit the UK in April 2011 and dramatically impacted 11.8% of all search queries.
Many high profile websites took a real beating and many online marking agencies were left blinking in horror at the un-doing of all their hard work.
How to Get Google Update-proof
Google keep all their updates thoroughly under wraps, which means that online marketing agencies can't really do much except wait and then work with what they're given once changes hit. Even if they do hint at what changes have been made, they usually don't give too much away...
Although it's impossible to know which changes are going to happen, there are ways to help protect your website against any negative impact that updates might have. As the motivation of Google updates is to weed out low-quality, spammy webpages, an ethical online marketing strategy which places quality at the forefront of its approach is vital. If your online marketing agency or in-house team implement this sort of plan, Google is unlikely to make changes that majorly (and negatively) affect your site rankings. By creating the kind of content and links that Google likes, you're less likely to be penalised by an update.
To run a good, ethical, high-quality online marketing strategy the basics need to be covered:
- Good, unique, keyword-rich content,
- A large, varied in-bound link profile, with lots of domains, a variety of anchor text and a mixture of dofollow and nofollow links,
- A blog/news section will help keep the site seen as fresh,
- Social integration and social media work will be important in the months/years to come.
If you want to succeed online, you’ll need to work with an ethical SEO agency that provides quality-driven online marketing services. As staunchly white-hat SEO and PPC experts, Liberty Marketing can help you weather Google updates and make a big splash on the web.