As announced at the beginning of this year, we’re expecting to see some 500 algorithm updates from Google in 2014. The queer ranking shifts that you might have noticed during the last few days are a clear reminder of that.
If you’re closely monitoring your website’s rankings and visits you might have noticed some unusual activity on your website: visitors either increased or decreased. Then a few days later things went back to normal.
The SEO community was already starting to brace themselves for a new major Panda
or Penguin update…
It seemed as if Google was testing something and getting ready for launch. It was all over the forums and on the major SEO websites such as MozCast or SearchMetrics.
Has an update already taken place and (possibly) affected your rankings?
I understand why you might be worried about your website and rankings. But remember: Google’s updates are not created to punish quality content.
According to Google, they haven’t released any updates. Yet.
Nonetheless, Google agrees that a new “Softer Panda” update is coming soon. Matt Cutts announced this at SMX West (took place in San Jose, CA, 11-13 March) where he also mentioned that the softer Panda is a “next generation” update.
The new Panda is expected to help small businesses by decreasing the impact it may have had on certain websites. They’ve done it before last year in July, but only 18% of the websites were able to fully recover.
Are you safe from update penalties?
Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to Google’s algorithm updates:
1. Algorithm updates are here to stay. The only thing we can do right now is stay up to date with Google’s latest news and adapt to its rules. Remember: nobody wants to bring your website down if it is a quality one.
2. Backlinks are not that important and their importance will continue to decrease in the future. Google’s algorithm will learn more and more about content and quality, and by doing so it will be less dependant on backlinks.
3. While backlinks are not that important anymore, quality is yes-important. So whatever kind of content you create and publish on your website, make sure you’re doing it with quality in mind.
4. Speaking of content, focus on creating video, podcasts and visual content, but do not ignore written content.
6. Monitor your Google Webmaster and Google Analytics accounts and look for “traffic bumps” (big differences in the number of visitors, bounce rate, etc).
Now is your turn!
Do you think you are ready to face any new algorithm updates from Google?
Do you have a content marketing strategy for your online business? If so, how are you combining email marketing with social media and customer services?
Do you think that the level of online customer service could be a possible differentiator for Google rankings in the future?