For a lot of business owners and marketers, Google is something to treat with a mixture of fear and awe. With the right search engine positioning, you can enjoy a virtually endless stream of targeted new prospects coming directly to your website. Get on Google’s wrong side, though, and it can feel like your company doesn’t exist at all.
Even worse, it’s entirely possible to be at the top of the search engine rankings one day and on page 7 the next. That’s probably why so many business people worry about future changes to Google’s algorithm. We all know they’re coming, but there’s never much certainty about when, or what form those changes will take.
Not everything to do with search engine optimization has to be a mystery, however. Here are a few things you can start doing today to help prepare your website for Google next algorithm shift:
Avoid “Quick Fix” Tactics
If there’s one thing we have learned in the last few years, it’s that Google doesn’t want to feature websites that seem to have been built with search engine rankings in mind. It’s paradoxical, but the quick-fixed techniques you use to attract search engine traffic could actually lead to a decline in your search visibility.
Thinking about basic SEO – in terms of keyword research, page titles, and so on – is a great idea. But focusing on the technical details of things like keyword density and anchor links could end up being counterproductive.
Focus on Quality and User Experience
Even though Google’s exact algorithms are secret, one thing we do know is that it wants to mimic a human searcher when it comes to finding high-quality results. And, because humans don’t like webpages that are over-optimized for search, search engine spiders are “learning” to dislike them, as well.
If you forgot about SEO for a moment, you’d concentrate on building websites and pages that are clean and user-friendly. And, as it turns out, that’s what impresses Google these days. The more quality content you have, and the easier it is to find and understand, the better you’ll do with search spiders and human visitors alike.
Find Other Sources of Traffic
Because Google can be somewhat secretive and unpredictable when it comes to new changes to its search algorithm, there are inevitably a handful of well-run websites that get caught in its filters each time a change has been made. In other words, you could do nothing wrong and still see your search engine traffic dry up overnight.
Knowing that, it’s a good idea to invest time and resources towards areas of your Internet marketing plan that don’t involve search engine optimization at all. Be sure that you have other ways to reach customers, including email and social media. That way, you don’t have to worry about Google’s next algorithm change. And if you never have an issue with your search positioning, it’s always good to have more customers coming in from different channels.
Even those of us in the web design industry can never be sure what Google will do next. But, with a little bit of preparation, there’s no reason to fear future algorithm updates.