The Trouble With Google

12th March 2013

Those who can be found near the top of Google's results pages for long periods do become accustomed to it.

Websites that have been enjoying regular success, find the lack of control frustrating knowing that one Google algorithm change can be enough to knock out a substantial chunk of their trade.

This stranglehold over business revenue can feel unfair and companies who have come to rely on search traffic revenue are toying with a precarious business model.

Webmasters face quite a challenge to keep to Google's guidelines, creating the best content, the most engaging web pages and a well-crafted website that out-ranks competitors. Consequently, it's tempting to take professional advice and try quick-win tactics and 'proven' ploys, to jump ahead with questionable link building and content creation strategies.

Impatient web businesses have been deterred by Google's scrupulous commitment to fair play, as the search engine has escalated updates from only a handful annually to 500+ changes to their algorithm every year. No sooner has someone benefited from using a dodgy tactic then the next algorithm update throws them back down the ranks. In 2013 Google is a sophisticated beast and it continues to develop at a fast pace.

The answer of how to rank well in Google looks increasingly like a carbon copy of their own mission statement. Their vague guidelines advising webmasters to build the best website for their market ring very true. There are still methods that can earn you higher positions in Google than perhaps your site deserves, but the penalties for trying to manipulate a results page and not keeping the user in mind, are punishing. A penalty from Google will crop your website income for several weeks or months until the misdemeanor is put right.

The Google algorithm updates are focused on creating good, usable web content for everyone. The Panda update of 2011 was designed to downgrade sites weak content, and the Penguin update, of 2012 was designed to counter black-hat, manipulative tactics. Both updates filtered out the weaker sites from the results pages.

Many claim that Google is trying to monetise everything but they do focus huge efforts into ensuring their organic search results are the best they can be. Our response must be to aspire to the same principles and build better pages and websites than the competition.

If a website answers the questions, needs and interests of Google users better than anyone else Google will spot this and want your site in their results pages. Utilise Google Places, videos, images, news, social platforms and as many other access points as you can to bring people to your website and Google will recognise your value.

However, Google appears to be gradually taking over its own page by answering searchers questions itself. Google Places shows where your search is located without having to click on anything. Knowledge Graph tells you about the person you searched for. Hotel Finder delivers a quote without even visiting another site. These elements are a stark reminder if Google could answer a query without you, they probably would.

Web dependent businesses should urgently consider what services they can provide that Google cannot."

Source: TheTravelMole Monday, March 11, 2013