Google Dance – Rollercoaster Ride for Webmasters?

Google for ever has had the webmasters on their toes – forever trying to meet up to the standards and to have their site listed on the top pages of search results. In this bid to serve the user better, Google has constantly been strengthening its norms; making the strife competition even harder than it already is. The webmasters, in the mean time, have to figure out how to doge or play back the cards dealt to them and keep their sites ranking well on search engine result pages.

But look at this scenario closely, and you will understand that the Google Dance was never about Google dealing the cards. It was always, only about ‘dealing’ with the scenario where the search results were being manipulated. Back then in 2003, we’d probably be calling it the ‘real Google dance‘ when nobody was aware of when the updates would come, or when they be implemented and the phase of a few days when the rankings would go hay wire.

But today, as things are different and Google is more regular with its indexing updates, people might comment that the term ‘Google Dance‘ isn’t applicable any more. The point, however, is that although the surprises are less jar, they are still very much there.

What started with the first update about the Google toolbar, and went onto 500 algorithm changes just in the year 2009, is a more streamlined but dynamic process today. Records state that there are updates on an average every 36 days, making it about 10 updates a year.
The caffeine update for instance, was something that took search to an all new level. It changed the way people could find information. The old search had layers from which information was found and presented, and the new search index placed the user right in the middle of the web; something like picking the right food out of the refrigerator!

The only difference in the ‘Google Dance‘ now is that people are informed and prepared. Walk into any SEO company and ask them about how the business works, and they will tell you that search engine optimization is one of those areas of work where you absolutely cannot sit back and relax; where you are forever trying to win that authentic spot on the SERP and cater to the latest algorithmic demands. After all, the bots are barely given any rest; crawling the web regularly to find new content and to delete dead websites from its index.

Looking at the pattern of updates, it can be noted that the streamlining is all about making the Google-bots intelligent – empowering them with the ability to understand human search queries.

One example is as below:

For a search on ‘~Order doll’, the search engine is smart enough to present links related to ‘purchasing’, ‘buying’, ‘ordering’ and online shopping.
THIS is how intelligent or ‘smart’ the search engine is. Rather, with more time, it’s only going to start understanding humans better and that will only bridge the gap between reality marketing and advertising and online search engine optimization. We’ll have to start pitching like we do to a client!

Our efforts have to be driven towards making traffic organic and keeping authentic, valid content. The way ahead, the focus will shift in a major proportion on the content optimization. For instance, in the recent Panda update, small businesses suffered and bigger brands got more visibility based on mention of brand names and link building. The challenges that the webmasters face is that they have to do everything they can to stay on the top. The fluctuations are going to be unpredictable; even more in the future – the catch is going to be about tapping to the music and impressing the bots.

These constant updates are regularly affecting rankings; but the plus point is that they are all progressive. The algorithms change, but they aren’t regressive in demands. They aren’t frivolous or uncalled for – the Google Dance, we can say, is simply, to make the ‘Web’ a better place.

Divya is an enthusiastic consultant with a prominent SEO company. She loves blogging and is always presenting innovative and interesting concepts on website development, e-commerce, social media optimization and various allied areas of the virtual space.

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