If you own a website of any sort then you will surely know something of Google algorithm updates.
At the very least you will have heard the horror stories of websites disappearing from results, with no guarantee of crawling their way back.
Worst still, you may have been hit yourself by one of the dreaded updates since Google started its war on web spam, back in 2011. Whichever the case, the key question for website owners everywhere is how do you protect yourself from future updates? Today we’re not talking about quality content, link profiles or previous updates, we’re talking about the bigger picture and a new way to think about Google, search engines and SEO in general.
#1: Know Your Enemy
Before you can defend yourself against the biggest name in search you have to know exactly what you’re up against. Know your enemy, as the famous phrase goes, but search marketing today calls for a new mentality. It’s easy to think of Google as the evil dictator in all this, but a touch of understanding goes a long way.
Google is a business, it’s as simple as that, and its search platform was hijacked by opportunistic SEOs who littered it with low quality content and spam websites. Google’s revenue was on the line and it took action, as any business should. To marketers and firms search engines are a chance to build business, but that’s not what Google or its users have in mind. Search engines are a means to connect people with the information they need (and make Google a ton of money in the process, of course). This is how we need to start thinking about search engines too – because that’s what your customers want from them as well.
#2: Know Where You Stand
So it’s time to forget about search engines as a fast-track to build your online presence and start using them for their intended purpose – to connect you with people interested in your brand. The trick is you have to earn this connection with the content they are searching for.
Google is holding all the cards here and it can change hands any time it wants. So rather than fight it you may as well jump on board and make Google’s interests your own. The search giant isn’t going to compromise its own revenue and (aside from advertising) its biggest asset is user experience – so focus your efforts on content and a wider online presence that contributes to the Google experience, including mobile friendly sites, My Business pages, the works.
#3: Patience Isn’t A Virtue, It’s A Necessity
Patience is a tough art to learn in marketing, but it’s the only way to get ahead and stay there in this game. Site owners and SEOs who pulled out all the stops to climb results pages have paid the price and many will never recover; while the websites and online brands that focus on their audience, gradually building a catalogue of quality content, are sitting on top. Which brings us nicely to our next point.
#4: Forget About Search Engines And Focus On Your Audience
Okay, don’t completely forget about search engines, but your only priority in business should be the people who pay the bills. So treat them like VIPs and you’ll find other things start to fall in place. You still need to create regular content, build links and do a ton of other things to grow your search presence, but keep your audience at the forefront of everything you do.
Create content that has something new to say – something valuable your audience will appreciate – and build quality links by targeting the big names in your industry. Just make sure you always have something to offer, whether it’s an article for your blog or a guest post for an external publication. Your content has to make it worth their while and if it doesn’t you need to find a way to make it happen.
#5: Know Your Updates, Spot Opportunities
All the points we have covered so far are a great place to start if you want to protect yourself against future algorithm updates. Rather than techniques, we’re talking about a new mentality to search marketing and this is precisely what you’ll need to survive in the days of future SEO. That said, survival is never enough for marketers or business owners and to get ahead will take a fine balance between spotting the right opportunities and not breaking the ever-changing Google rulebook.
This is no easy task when the updates still come thick and fast, but we’ve been dealing with these for a while now it’s getting (slowly) easier to look ahead. So get in with a digital marketing agency that constantly talks about Google algorithms – all you have to do is look at their blog page. The agencies to help you progress won’t just be talking about the updates we’ve already seen, they’ll be talking about the updates yet to come and how to make it in the future of SEO.