Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, used to be very simple. All you needed to do is make sure that your site would come up on top when people looked for specific keywords. Because Google ranks popular sites first, the early methods involved adding links on other sites, comments, blogs and forums, in order to raise Google's awareness of the target site. Of course, we all know that in the past couple of years, several large changes happened to Google's algorithm to make it much more aware of people attempting to game the system, and as a side effect, these changes affected real sites that employed various SEO methods as well. A large number of SEO consultants and companies now find themselves unable to deliver what they used to promise, and site owners are getting less convinced that these methods are useful.
Google’s baby steps
But now, yet another announcement was made by Google, which may yet again transform how SEO gets done. In fact, this new change may be so fundamental that many say it will affect how sites get ranked going forward. In reality, it is not one major change coming, but a series of small ones. What the company announced is that there will be no more Panda or Penguin updates, the major revisions, which caused so much trouble to the industry. Instead, Google will now start updating its algorithm in small increments. Instead of large updates every few years, we will see small updates at random intervals, every couple of months. Obviously, this has major consequences on this business, and there are things you can do to prepare, so that neither you nor your clients will be taken aback unprepared when this kicks into effect.
There are three main questions that you should be asking yourself, and three takeaways from this announcement:
How will this change affect your business? This largely depends on what your methods are. If your goal is to go around the big updates, figure out how Penguin or Panda affected your links and design around that, then this way of acting may not be available anymore. Instead you will need to focus on a permanent way to do SEO that will not risk being rendered obsolete by any small change.
How will this affect your marketing? Basically, you need to become less of an 'SEO expert' and more someone who can keep up to date on those constant changes, so that you can advise your clients in a better way.
How will these changes affect your rankings? This is the big question, and right now no one can know for sure. But with small changes happening at any time, if you do not check your rankings on a regular basis, now is the time to begin. We do not know for sure what the future holds for SEO, but it is a new time.
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