Every time Google releases a big update they make a large profit. This probably explains why they have randomly occurring big updates, but their reason is because people are always trying to find weaknesses in the Google search engine and they are trying to plug the gaps. Google claims that their updates either improve the system as a whole (e.g. Caffeine Index, Google Hummingbird) or help to stop people manipulating the search engine (Google Panda and Google Penguin). Here are five tips to help you protect your website against the next big update.
1 – Do all you can to put your user first
Google claim that all they do is done to make the user experience a better one. They want the user to find what they are looking for, and they want the content within their listed websites to be useful to the user.
This may sound like a load of old marketing tripe, but it makes sense if you think about the benefits for Google. If people find what they want quickly then they will rely on Google more, and if people are presented with good and usable web content thanks to the Google search engine results, they are less likely to become frustrated and try a search engine such as the Bing/Yahoo collaboration.
This means that you should work on putting your user before the search engines. This means you should make sure your website has a use and that the use is presented clearly to the viewer.
This does not mean you should abandon SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You should still do all the recommended on and off page SEO work you normally do–it just means putting the user first.
2 – Do not jump on the next bandwagon
A lot of people are punished by Google updates because they tried the next big thing and Google wrote an update against it. If you find a technique online that helps to push your website to the top of the search engine results very quickly, then it stands to reason that Google are going to create an update that re-levels the playing field again, which will result in your website being penalized.
3 – Think about linking for direct traffic only
The word “only” is a little unfair in this tip. There are no rules with Google at the moment that are as restrictive as saying you should only link from websites where you are likely to get direct link traffic. But, as Google changes more and more of its rules on backlinking there is a gradual edge towards link relevance and strength coming into play.
Direct link traffic is when a person sees your link on another website and then clicks it in order to land on your website.
It used to be more about people linking to your website of their own free will, but Google are well aware that most backlinks are being inserted by the web masters themselves, which explains why they keep coming up with more rules regarding backlinks.
A backlink from a website attended by your target consumer is a website you should be linking from anyway, so if anything you can say that they are safe backlinks, and if you are playing it 100% safe then you should only link from websites where you are the most likely to get direct link traffic.
4 – Keep an eye out for the signals that Google gives
They sometimes give clues as to the next big change that is coming. Before the Hummingbird update you may have noticed the Google PageRank toolbar was hardly being updated and the keyword tool was removed from public access. This was a signal that maybe PageRank and keywords were not going to be as much of a big deal within the next Google update.
5 – Google has lots of on-page guidelines you can follow
If in doubt you can just become an avid rule follower. If anything is not explicitly mentioned by Google then do not do it. At least this way you are protected against many of the unknown variables.
You are going to have to dig deep into the actual Google website in order to find the best and most accurate guidelines. The Google Analytics program is a good place to start, as are the many guideline links within the Google Webmaster Tools section. The blog by Matt Cutts may also help to clear up a few of the grey areas, but remember that his older posts may have been correct at the time, but things may have changed since then.
The article was provided by Sonia Jackson who writes for www.royal-essay.com. She answers all your questions about writing and editing.