Date Published: 5-May-2013 | By: Pete Dubaka
Back when Google got started in 1990s, the focus of other search engines was to rank sites on the first page based predominantly on the on-page optimization of the websites. So, when Google arrived with a new method of rankings based on links and their PageRanks, it was able to bypass all the over optimized sites that were overly emphasized on the on-page areas and rank the good sites on first pages. This new method helped deliver much better results and the dominant search engine of that time, altavista.com literally became extinct overnight.
With time as Google grew in market share and as more people started using the search engines for finding information, the gaming of the links for better rankings led to quality of results deteriorating. This forced Google to make many changes to its algorithms and add newer dimensions to the algorithms. The last few years even before the Google Panda and Penguin updates were introduced, Google started deemphasizing on PageRank for determining top rank positions. They then expanded the algorithm to cover other aspects like social indicators, visitor engagement, content freshness, local results as well as penalizing for newer violations, including having multiple domains for same business and certain types of links.
To be sure, Google did some relearning. For example, when Google first penalized websites for having bad links, this could have been exploited by some shady companies to bring down the rankings of their competitors. Google then allowed sites to disavow links preventing such issues.
Overall, compared to earlier, it is now very difficult to rank a site that is only doing link building and refuses to pay attention to other aspects of Web marketing like site’s content, usability, appeal and even good quality control before publishing a website.
Needless to say, these substantial changes to the Google’s algorithms have made marketers, business owners and business executives a bit concerned with the developments. Especially since search is an important part of the customer purchase decision in both consumer and business markets. The implications of the Google algorithm changes have ramifications to their businesses’ growth and their marketing strategies.
What we need to understand is that Google despite its market leadership in search engines cannot rest on its laurels. The search engine users are fickle customers. If the quality of results is not good, they will go elsewhere; exactly like they moved from Altavista search engine to Google, a dozen years ago. Google probably realizes this and constantly tries to reinvent itself to ensure it retains its market share and the trust of the search users.
Search engine rankings exist in a dynamic equilibrium between Google, black hat SEOs, white hat SEOs and satisfaction of search users with the search results. So there will be phases where the changes will be less and there will be phases where changes will be lot more than you like. So you need to understand this cycle and operate in the web marketing space from a more long term view. Sure you need to make changes to your tactics, methods and processes. However, having a perspective on the bigger picture and a long time horizon will help get some sanity back in your life.
The championship winning NBA team does not win every match in the season, so don’t get worked up on standards that are overly demanding. Protect your sanity by being into search marketing for the long term. This will not only help you from getting over anxious, it will also help to execute your strategies, gain customers and grow your business profitably.
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