Ah, Google: so open and transparent. Yet so secretive!
When it comes to changes to its algorithm, the search engine can be mysterious and sneaky, tweaking that algorithm incrementally (sometimes) yet at other times making a huge announcement and hullabaloo regarding massive changes. (Remember Panda?)
If you feel confused and at sea regarding the many changes the search engine has made to its algorithm since then, you’re not crazy: Google is weird. In other words, it’s not you; it’s Google.
Still, it’s wise to at least be aware of when Google makes large or small changes to its search algorithm: all the easier for you to tweak your own search marketing efforts. Take a look below for some speculation about unconfirmed June and March updates. And then we’re going to talk you down from the ledge.
In Case You Missed It (ICYMI):
Have you noticed some changes in your rankings starting in late June?
While Google hasn’t technically confirmed it, it’s probable that Google made a change to its algorithm on or around June 25. Some SEO optimization experts even said they believed it to be “massive,” with one SEO pro tweeting that he experienced a “huge fluctuation in the rankings.”
“Fred” may have made its appearance in March.
Another unconfirmed change (dubbed “Fred” in jest by one organic search expert, but the name has stuck) took place on March 8. Also believed to be a big change, Fred is purported to have hit low-value content sites (those that focused on revenue, not a site’s users) very hard. Several of those sites affected reportedly saw a 90 percent drop in traffic.
Most of the affected sites had ads/affiliate links placed throughout the page/blog post that didn’t add much value above and beyond similar industry sites. (That Google: always wanting highly informative, quality content!)
How You Can Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Search Marketing
It’s Google’s world and we all just live in it. Yet all along Google basically has wanted its organic search engine to deliver one thing only: meaningful, informative results.
After all, when you head to your favorite browser, what are you usually looking for? Information! You’re not looking for fluff. For ads. For affiliate links. For drivel. You want the truth and lots of it. “Details!” you cry, “Give me the details!”
And so that’s exactly why Google keeps tweaking is algorithm: it wants to give its users meaty, accurate, engaging information.
So if you provide that in your blog posts, social media and website (along with pertinent keywords), you’ve little to fret about.
Yes, you definitely can and should pay attention to a few details, details such as:
- Issues with your links (watch out for spammy links)
- Technical problems
- Your content’s quality (mentioned above)
- Your users’ experience
Google makes it pretty easy for you to clearly understand what will help your site rank high in its search results. Read Google’s SEO Starter Guide and the search engine’s Webmaster Guidelines. We also recommend that you take a peek at our own search marketing blog for additional insights and tips.
Finally, no matter what any organic search guru says, avoid black hat tactics. Just walk. Away. Fast! You don’t want to get on the bad side of the search engine that rules the online world.