The world of SEO is constantly changing and internet marketers can be affected by the hundreds of modifications that Google makes to its algorithms every year. As such, a major factor in how much money you make will depend on your search engine rankings and how much importance you have placed on these Google changes.
Here at iMoney Buzz, we decided to look in-depth at our search engine rankings and traffic stats once these algorithms were changed and have summarised our findings below.
Last Five Algorithm Changes In 2011
November the 14th – Google announced they were paying more attention to snippets from content and would be showing these in search results where the header or title was not specific enough.
They also emphasized that back linking with a variety of anchor texts to a certain page would be given more emphasis than one keyword that was constantly linked.
November the 3rd – Fresh content was now a high priority. The aim of this was to ensure that users of Google would see the latest publications when searching current hot topics of the day.
October the 18th - Google started encrypting search queries resulting in “(not provided”) terms in Google analytics stats. Users also find their browser directed to the more secure setting of https://www.google.com instead of http://www.google.com. Note the added “s” on the end of http.
October the 5th – Small minor changes that were a follow up of the recent Panda update. Google declined to declare what they were but placed emphasis on unique and valuable content, user friendliness of the site and engagement possibilities for readers to share, subscribe and return.
September the 28th – The Panda update actually started in February of 2011 and was called the Farmer Update. It continued through to September and was a major change that affected as much as 35% of sites.
What Were The Panda & Farmer Updates?
Sites that were affected included well-known names such as Ezinearticle.com and Suite101. They were deemed in the eyes of Google as content farms and gave readers no added value.
The Panda update was to tie up any loose ends that the Farmer update had not covered. Google declined to reveal in-depth what the Panda update was about however they did release 23 questions that every site owner should be asking themselves. These questions included
- What is the ratio of ads to content?
- Do you provide your users with a reason to share your content among friends on the web?
- Can users easily navigate around your site and find the topic that they are searching for?
- Will readers find your content trust worthy?
- Does the content have spelling or factual errors?
- Is the site considered an official authority figure on the subject?
- Would users feel comfortable giving their credit card information to the site?
- Is the site content, comprehensive and cover all angles of the subject?
Following our investigation, we have determined a number of tasks that we consider high importance when implementing an internet campaign.
1 – Content should be rich and knowledgeable in the chosen subject. Publishing two paragraphs with a few pictures is not going to win anyone first placing. Spelling, grammar and facts must be accurate and the quality of the piece must be high.
2 – Back linking campaigns should have a variety of anchor text links pointing back to the target page.
3 – A frequent publishing schedule is a must. New content should be widely shared on social media sites to prove authority in the chosen field. Social marketing techniques using Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon, Videos and Google+1 will become INTEGRAL to a websites success
4 – Expect algorithm changes every month. Once they happen, we review stats and search engine rankings and implement new objectives into an internet marketing campaign to deal with these changes.
But wait there is more…
The Farmer and Panda update had a major effect on the internet and the websites contained within it. However Google boldly introduce the +1 button which can affect search results depending on who you are socially connected with on the internet. This is placing more emphasis on the need for social media engagement if you have a website on the net.
The +1 button works in much the same way as the Facebook like button. Readers give a +1 to any site or page that they like. If you are socially connected with that person and searching Google for any given keyword, the +1 page that they have marked will show on the first page of results.
At the moment, the jury is still out on Google Plus and whether it will majorly change the way we view our internet experience. It has a long way to go before it catches up with Facebook and this is proved by the fact that a majority of Google Plus members are websites owners and not your average user.
However, it is still the early days and as we have learned in the world of internet marketing, goal posts and user experiences can change every month. Google is no longer a tool that you can work on and then sit back to watch the results. It is constantly changing and evolving with new techniques and methods and when it sets it’s mind on competing with a concept or application such as Facebook for example, it will not rest until it gets onto an equal footing. Maybe Google+ will become the definitive social interaction tool in years to come?….interesting thought.