Dealing with algorithmic change

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Many times each year Google decides to implement changes that will potentially affect you and your website. We have reported on many of these over the last few months and years, including the most recent penguin update which we mentioned in one of our articles last month. However, what we haven’t done yet is to give you some tips or guidelines as to how to handle these changes and what practically you can do. Hopefully this posting will make things a little clearer.

Follow – ultimately!

As you can see from our previous article, obeying updates is the best practice and you should strive to ensure that any updates are complied with. It is often not as simple and not as easy as that. Complying with the updates is the obvious end goal but there are little steps or things you can bear in mind along the way to help you reach this destination more easily.

1) Don’t be too hasty initially.

When updates are first announced and you learn of potential consequences, it can be very scary as webmasters to think you will be negatively affected and the potential impacts on your business. In reality when updates are first announced, the details are often fairly limited and precise information rare. This leads to a lot of people speculating on what changes could mean when this is not necessarily the case. Being very narrow in your approach at this stage could mean you waste time, effort and money, so try not to panic too much initially.

2) Follow the subject – reputably.

We all know not to believe everything we see or hear. When algorithmic changes have occurred a lot of information gets published online as we have mentioned above. Some of these sources are more reputable than others. Webmasters would do wise to read ‘credible’ sources of information and follow these, rather than trying to find out absolutely all the literature there is available and try to make sense of that – infact in this case you probably won’t be able to make sense of it! Reliable sources of information should be able to explain the change and impact quite easily as they will be fluent and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. Once you have done this, you can begin to make adjustments and changes as necessary, referring back to the information periodically for updates on the situation.

3) Wait and hope?

You might think that waiting and leaving everything to hope is not an option. Indeed you would be correct, we wouldn’t recommend not doing anything as Google does not announce updates for no reason. However sometimes it can be beneficial to wait a little while and see what happens. This might sound alarming but the general principle is that as long as you are following correct and ethical SEO practices then there should be little reason to think (or to expect) that you will be penalised.

Keep track and follow your keywords / pages over a period of time following any algorithm update. If you notice a significant fall, then is the time to take action.

Finally, keep this in mind…

Remember the whole point of Google updates is to make beneficial changes for its users and audience. As webmasters so long as you are striving to provide the best experience for your users and audience, you shouldn’t go far wrong!

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