Whenever Google announces a change to their algorithm, the SEO world is full of comment and speculation as to what that will mean for the future of their rankings.
Indeed, it doesn’t even take an algorithm change to have this effect and it has reached the stage now where even Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s crack webspam team blowing his nose will cause a ranking debate in some circles.
So with so much gossip and speculation surrounding the search engine industry, how can you make sure that you are on top of the news and that your websites won’t suffer at the hands of Google’s next algorithm change?
The unfortunate truth is that you can’t. Google are a law unto themselves and if they decide to make a change then you have to be sure that you have put the right work so that you won’t be tossed to the back of the pile when the next big algorithm change comes into force.
But what you can do is try to keep on top of the Google guidelines so that your site doesn’t tumble down the rankings during the next big algorithm change.
Now this isn’t going to be another one of those “be whiter than white” posts that the net is full of. The truth from a business point of view is that bosses want to see results, and often playing by the rules can be a long road to success. So how do you get the balance right between goody-two-shoes web marketing and downright dastardly “black-hat” approaches?
Throw All of your Hats into the Bin
Before you look to “algorithm proof” your website, you need to decide if it’s even important to do so. If you are selling a seasonal product and have a number of well ranked websites then it might not matter if your methods are deemed worthy of punishment by Google. So long as your livelihood isn’t dependant on one site ranking well, you aren’t necessarily tied to what Google deems to be fair.
There are many articles written on white vs. black hat approaches but in the cold hard world of business, a more pragmatic approach is needed than simply wearing different coloured hats.
However, if the success of your website is keeping people in a job and you are trying to convey an online image of quality, then quite frankly you would be crazy to risk it all by spamming your way to the top. Know what you want to achieve, know what Google likes, learn what actually works and analyse your options accordingly.
If your business depends on sustained online success, your marketing strategy should reflect this through quality link building and award winning content. Get this right and you won’t need to worry too much when the next algorithm change comes knocking on your virtual door.
Don’t Just Rely on One Method
This is fairly self-explanatory. If your entire web marketing effort relies on just one or two methods you are leaving yourself wide open to get Google-spanked should the next big change not agree with your strategy. If your link building efforts revolve around just comment spamming blogs and building profile links, you could be crying into your morning coffee come the next big change.
The solution? All things in moderation. It’s common sense, if you are building your linking strategy on shaky ground, don’t be surprised if it all comes tumbling down.
Build Your Strategy Like You Would a House
Tacky metaphor time, but please bear with me. If you have decided that it isn’t worth risking yours and everyone else’s jobs by spamming your way to the top then you will need a quality link building strategy, so get in touch with your inner builder!
Every strategy needs a firm foundation, so look to build your strategy on quality links gained from strong sources. Guest blogging, quality directories and press releases will get you a few of these and it is an effective way of kicking off your campaign.
After you have a strong foundation you can build your wooden framework. These will be links from blogs and forums, profile and comment links that every site will need but that won’t be overly effective in isolation. Spread them out a bit, avoid automation and try and have something to say. Just because they are comment links it doesn’t mean that they have to be spam.
Then you will need the brick exterior that will protect your website. Should Google decide to kick away your wooden foundation links, these brick ones will hold your whole campaign together. Become an authority in your niche and show your knowledge through quality content and give people knowledge that they are actually looking for. It is this quality approach that will mean that should Google ever spring a surprise algorithm change, your website will be well positioned to ride out the storm.
How do you plan to survive the next big Google algorithm change? I am looking forward to your comments below!
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About the author:
Alan Grainger is an in-house B2B web marketer and manages the SEO for The Promotional Gifts Company, a leading UK specialist in the promotional products sector. He writes articles exploring the issues faced by the B2B web marketer, giving an “in the trenches” view from an in-house SEO department.
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