18 Oct 2005

Changes and Paranoia – the sky is falling

Google’s updating, look for a few minutes, then get back to work. The sky really isn’t falling, Google’s just going through some growing, and we might have to feel some of the pains.

Lee point over to Matt Cutts, where Matt mentions:

…we are constantly working to improve our algorithms and scoring. Some changes are hardly noticed at all. Some changes are more visible. Some changes have nothing to do with spam. Some changes do try to decrease spam or increase core quality. (shortened by Jim)

Just to give you a heads-up, I think a new set of backlinks (and possibly PageRank) will probably be visible relatively soon; I’m guessing within the next few days. I still expect some flux after that though, just to let you know.

The Insanity started, and will continue for a while, and will repeat itself again and again – you’ve got to keep in mind that these things will happen.

When Google goes through changes, people instantly think of "What could I be doing wrong with my current efforts". Then everything that everyone is doing gets called into question.

Here’s some popular theories that pop up every time there’s a shift in rankings.

Having newspaper links
Not being in the news
Buying links
Not buying links
Having site-wide links
Having homepage links
Having footer links
Link trading
3 way linking
Not having enough content
Having too much content on page
Adding 200 pages in 1 week
Deleted 200 pages in 1 week
Not adding pages in a year
Updating too often
Not updating enough
Posting links in forums, guestbooks, blogs
Not having links from those in the community
Joining a link network
Not having enough links
Google doesn’t like me
Google wants us to spend money on Adwords
….I could go on and on and on and on.

That’s not to say that any of the above could ever be a cause, it’s just that everyone will start to question the common techniques, and start the game of "blaming" shifts on some one thing.

I’d look at what Google might be trying to achieve in the top 10 results, and that will give you some clues as to what Google might be looking for, and just how little tweaks in their algorithm can cause such havoc in rankings. I’d also follow it by looking at link networks, the way Google might strive towards.

Before you jump to conclusions about analyzing any 1 site, analyze the top 10 and see the merits of what those sites have going for them, and try to fit those lessons with you SEO plan. The only thing guaranteed in this business is that as search engines change, so must SEO techniques evolve.

Let the insanity begin, meanwhile, you can find us working.

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