It is now an established, accepted fact of working with SEO that it is an ever-changing landscape.
We are all on the lookout for Google’s next big algorithm change and how it might affect our all-important rankings. But is it dangerous to over-obsess over these shifting patterns, and how should a business best prepare itself for Google updates?
“Google wants users to find what they’re looking for, which is why it keeps refining and changing how it searches,” Jonathan Guy of Aqueous Digital observes. “On the one hand, you must be prepared for this. On the other, you have to accept its changeability as a precondition of SEO.”
“At times there can be as many as three of these changes in a single day,” Jonathan points out.
Are You Prepared?
Nobody but Google knows when the next algorithm change is due, and there are near-constant small shifts happening all the time. However, there are also larger, more impactful changes. Such as the shift in focus to mobile searches.
These require some preparation if your SEO is going to keep up with what is going on.
“Google will often make it very clear that changes are going to happen so it’s then up to you to do your homework thoroughly to prepare for what’s coming up”
This may mean looking at current analytics for your site, including: type of traffic; time spent on site; keyword rankings; completed conversion goals; revenue; and bounce rate.
“Also look at the competition before and during the algorithm update,” Jonathan advises. “Afterwards, it is then a case of making the right adjustments, in line with any changes to the analytics.”
What Jonathan emphasises too, is having alternative strategies in place.
“Pay per click has such a vital role to play because, providing your approach is strategically sound, you can use it as a means of helping to shore up your SEO through any changes”
As a chartered marketer and SEO expert, Jonathan makes it clear that businesses must still focus on quality content, proper optimisation of pages and other elements of best practice, regardless of changes that Google makes.
SEO and the Acceptance of Google
As Google has shifted its focus onto mobile, website traffic patterns will have both influenced, and been influenced by, this change.
But even this is not fixed, because Google’s mission is to improve the user experience and attempt to anticipate, through its algorithms, what each user wants from their specific search results.
“There is no single answer to your SEO,” concludes Jonathan. “The solution is not to obsess over organic SEO results, but to use them as part of a wider digital marketing strategy, which also includes paid search elements, alongside other online activity.”