This month has been a tumultuous one for many website owners. I’ve been reading about the most recent Google algorithm changes and how large numbers of sites have been affected for the worse. Some web properties have likely been penalized in one way or another for not adhering to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. These are straightforward, easy-to-follow directives, but some people either decide that these rules don’t matter or don’t do enough research to understand them.
I always say that in most cases, as long as you are doing everything you’re supposed to be doing, you shouldn’t need to worry too much about these regular fluctuations. When Google changes its ranking algorithms, site owners need to learn how to respond by potentially adjusting their SEO efforts to mitigate the loss of valuable ranking positions.
Whether people understand them or not, it’s essential to follow the rules and dial in your SEO with as much “white hat” SEO as you possibly can and avoid anything even remotely “spammy” or manipulative to game or influence search results with nefarious intentions. Even if you get away with it for a while, eventually you get discovered, and losing access to Google’s search results does not sound fun. Google serves over 86% of all search traffic, so missing out on such a large “piece of the pie” can and will be devastating to any small business.
When you consider that it’s not that hard to create your content or pay a few bucks for an SEO to do that job for you – it’s difficult to understand why anyone would try to game the system based on the possible negative consequences alone. You could end up seriously affecting Google’s opinion for an extended length of time, and they will do their best to keep your business website far, far away from the 1st page of their valuable result pages.
Even if you are genuinely on hard times and cannot afford to hire someone long-term, it is an absolute waste of time to try to trick the search engines when help is just an email away!