Google is one of the most popular search engines on the Internet today. According to statistics about 50 to 80 percent of searches made by users worldwide are being done on Google. That is probably one reason why most Internet marketing strategy, either search engine optimization or pay-per-click, consider every action done by Google as vital factor.
How so? Well, Google works by “spidering” or “crawling” web sites. Once this is done, the web sites are then added to the Google “index”. This index is pretty much like a phonebook, it is Google’s very own list of pages on the Internet. After that, Google performs several operations on the information they had accumulated. Eventually, it decides where each page will appear on the list of results for searches.
Every once in a while Google would start using a new index for its search results. This time is called the “Google Update”. Currently, the Google updates occur about once in a month. It usually takes a few days and is quite an anticipated and dreaded event for most site owners, since this is the time when their listing in Google changes. Is it for the better or for worse? You be the judge.
Now, the latest Google update has gained the nickname “Jagger”. It is probably due to the fact that it is causing major distress to site owners all over the globe. Why you ask? Well, like what happens in most Google updates, an initial period of movement in ranking position has recently occurred.
As with every algorithm update, Google attempts to take out the spam from its database. So what kind of changes had been made as a result of this update? Only the Google engineers have the answer to that. But, there are some factors which seem to be important in this update. For instance, hidden text spam seems to be taking quite a hit. Whereas most search engines consider white text on white background spamming, it seems that Google has now also take text that is hidden in invisible CSS layers. Another noticeable change is that links from automated link exchanges and text link advertising systems seem to count less.
But, before you picture the worst case scenario remember that this is pretty natural. Soon enough things will get back to normal. Google updates may last barely a day or it might take as long as 8 weeks, depending on how extensive the update is. After all, Google have about 16 to 24 billion web pages in its database, so they probably need some time.
While the Google update is still ongoing, site owners will probably see their search engine results change from day to day. But there is still no need to panic! For any given key phrase the ranking results may drop from 1 to 100, or vise versa. Either way, do not get use to them yet. These are just temporary results and will change once things settle down. So in order to put your fears to rest check your Google Page Rank and see if it has moved as well. If it remained the same then you can be certain that the key phrases will pull through. But, if your PR has also dropped just like your key phrase ranking then it may be time to take a closer look to see what is going on.
So how do you deal with this latest update? First of all, do not panic. If your site rankings dropped, give it another week just to be sure that the index update is really over. Now if your site is still no where to be found, then its time for some serious consideration. What do you think went wrong?
For example, if you use CSS in order to hide text on your web pages think about removing those hidden text. If you use other techniques that Google might consider a spam, then remove them from your pages immediately.
If you have a links page, instead of using a link exchange system with a central server why not host your link pages on your own site. If you are part of a centralized system your site will be at risk if the centralized system is considered spam.
Once you have removed the spam elements from your pages, there are two things that you can do in order to tide you over from this crazy phase. First, optimize your site. Consider using “IBP’s Top 10 Optimizer” in order to optimize your web pages for the new Google algorithm. This optimizer utilizes the current ranking algorithm and will help you to determine which web page elements Google wants to see on a web page for your keyword and your web site.
The second thing you can do is to expand your promotion efforts. Consider trying out other search engines. Do not put all eggs in one basket. Even if you did manage to get high rankings on Google, it’s still a better idea not to rely on Google alone.
Why not try Yahoo and MSN? They are also quite popular among users and can bring you qualified traffic. After all, the key to a successful online business is to get qualified traffic from all big search engines. If your site has good rankings on the other search engines then dropping out on one will not have much effect on you.
Keep in mind that Google updates their Page Rankings a couple of times a year. Regardless of your position it is still highly anticipated, because it can be a good barometer that can help you gauge your site.
With the ever changing factors to Google’s obscure ranking algorithm remember that you are not alone in this. If your site has suffered lower ranking so have millions of other web site owners out there. So, sit back and relax. Once the update is over and thing settle down again you will be able to see just exactly where you stand. Then you can adjust your SEO plan accordingly, and resume your pursuit of gaining key phrase dominance!