Whether you believe in creationism or evolution you would be very wrong to believe that “evolution” doesn’t exist. Almost every company model is based on growth and evolution. And when you consider how intertwined companies are you realize that even companies unwilling to evolve, must evolve. In comes the Google Dance.
April fools 2009 brought in a not-so-nice collection of “jokes” to SEO experts around the world. 1) Google adjusted how it views blogs and assigns them PageRank. 2) It added longer snippets to SERPs. 3) It added a nifty collection of local results with news and phone numbers based on you ip address (this has to break some sort of privacy).
To the regular Googler this all seem like great feature enhancements. But for the SEO? Blogs are a great field for high quality inbound links. Search engines love their ever changing content. What better place to market your site! But now Google is taking away hard earned ranking from blog that focus on commercial content. Sponsored blog posts, pay per post and yes, SEO blogs have been hurt. Some site have gone from a PR7 to a PR5! This means less income per post.
If all of this didn’t affect the site you’re push you now have longer snippets to contend with. Let us say you have managed to get rank #5 on a SERP for your favorite keyword. Results 1-4 now have 4 lines of text when they use to have 2. What does that do? Your result is now pushed below the fold, forcing viewers to scroll down to your result. Organic traffic from Google will certainly drop.
But let say you are #3 or even #4. Not too worried right? Wrong. You now have local numbers and new results cluttering up your result and oh what happened? Yeah those came up between positions 3-4. So technically you are now #14-#15. Don’t get me started on local ads/features….
Hopefully you don’t have to deal with the worst case senario. If you are, try the following. Good luck with the Google Dance!
1) Focus on quality. Quality content, quality backlinks, quality, quality, quality. Google can tell if you’re cheating.
2) Work on building a reputation. If Cars.com and all these other review sites can stay strong, so can you. When people like you, they keep coming back for more. And trust me, Google will notice.
3) Keep your content fresh. Throw in a couple current event phrases and popular topics. Google likes frequently updated sites, and people like current events. Spiders and traffic, what could be better?
4) Lastly, remember your keywords. Make sure you use a healthy dose. If every other word is your keyword, you’ll be considered spam. If you only have it once in you copy? Well, then really… what is your copy about??