Google has become so powerful nowadays. Most people identify it with internet itself.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise given that this company provides numerous important platforms such as internet browser, search engine, email, world map, etc. They managed to develop wide variety of software that can be used for almost any digital need.
Similarly, when people mention SEO, they usually refer to optimization within Google search engine. In fact, due to its market dominance, there is really no point in paying attention to other options as most of the internet traffic goes through Google.
Source of information: netmarketshare.com
But, given that most of the internet is in hands of one organization, this also means that most of the content and website functionality will be tailor-made according to their guidelines.
Does this make Google a “bad guy”?
Over the years, there have been a lot of new algorithms and systems that were meant to improve functionality of Google. These alterations affected websites in different ways. While some of them prospered due to them, others had a sharp decline.
In a way, it can be depressing knowing that success of your business is not controlled by you. Furthermore, for a traditional economist, the knowledge that your profitability is not necessarily connected to your operational efficiency can be a frightening notion.
How should we perceive Google? Is this company out to get us?
It is really hard to tell.
Over the years there has been some news that Google is favoring certain companies and organization. This was also notable during the current presidential race. Nevertheless, no matter how you look at things, Google does have the right to modify and alter results according to their whim.
But, this makes the entire procedure and optimization worthless.
As I said, some people still profit from these algorithmic changes. That being said, whether you see Google as good guys or bad guys is solely based on your rankings.
Regardless of individual cases, this company always states that their engine is pointed towards end user.
As the time went by, they indeed made some radical changes within it vastly improving outlook of the pages and information on them. Today, authoritative website has to be driven by quality, not quantity or spam.
According to what we have seen so far, algorithms will be more and more based on user experience. Time spent on a website, bounce rate and click through rate will all be important factors in future. At least we presume so. No matter how you define it, optimization will still exist in one or another form.
Google RankBrain is one of the latest innovations which puts visitor in driver’s seat.
Basically, this machine learning system is made for queries that do not have enough data (approximately 15% of all searches). These are usually obscure searches, some of which poorly defined or plagued with bad grammar.
Anyway, for a small percentage of queries, RankBrain will make an assessment based on user’s experience. If a page is well written, providing a lot of valuable insights, it should rank higher in Google.
Content is king for Google and as long as you provide quality articles and videos, you will have place in top spots of Google search engine. Of course, you should never forget building high quality relevant links as they are still the most important ranking factor.
Imagine having a profitable internet shop in which you invested a lot of money over the years. Part of it may be through PPC while the rest is on SEO and SMO.
One day, you wake up to realize that Google launched an algorithmic update and that you have lost majority of your traffic. This can be an enormous financial blow for you and your organization.
Different people will react differently on this. And trust me; a lot of companies were ruined due to small algorithmic changes.
While some try to fight it and make the necessary changes, the other are willing to completely quit their internet business. For them, such a hit is hard to bear. Naturally, it can be really demotivating to build something for years only to realize that you have no control over it whatsoever.
I suggest that you approach the issue with a level head.
Think about it as any other business obstacle. Yes, the algorithmic changes can completely ruin your business but these things also happen to other types of companies, don’t they?
The worst thing you can do is to enter panic mode and start changing everything on your website. Instead, focus on the problems as stated by Google. Always remember, some of the losses can be recovered; it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are completely out of it.
You have to assess the situation and measure whether it is profitable to make the changes/start over. Like with any other business, webmasters and owners have to analyze risks and potential and make a rational call.
What should I do in future?
Nobody can give you a proper answer to this question.
Even if you haven’t been penalized or suffered loss of traffic, the very thought of it can be terrifying. It can make you question everything about your organization.
Google is definitely a monopolist based on its market share. As I mentioned, going against it is suicidal. But, how to build your business around something that is so unpredictable?
Your best bet is to analyze Google’s tendencies.
So far, everything was pointing towards improving user experience. At this point in time, it is safe to say that Google will continue this trend no matter what. But what will happen in 10 years? Who knows?
Another good tip which I can give you is to create a list of contacts.
Blogging is an interactive activity with numerous participants. Search engines, websites, social media, all of them will change or will even perish. People are something you can always count on, whether they are loyal visitors or business connections. Even if you current projects hit a wall, you may consider restarting the whole process. The second time over, you will at least have some friends to help you rebuild your website.
Have you ever been penalized or wronged by Google? Did your online business take a hit? Share your experience in the comment section below.