The Secret to Withstanding the Next Google Update

Written by Brick Marketing

Panda, Penguin, ads above the fold, exact match domains, Venice—it sometimes seemed like a new Google update was rolling out every other week in 2012. If you want to see exactly how many Google updates actually went live SEOMoz has a great algorithm change timeline. Panda and Penguin were undoubtedly the heaviest hitters of the 2012 Google updates and some site owners that got whacked back in April with Penguin are still struggling to completely recover. A lot of site owners, and some SEOs, cried foul and say they were unfairly penalized by a Google update but one of the most important things to remember about Google is that at the end of the day they are a business. But instead of pet supplies or enterprise software they sell organized information—and they want to put out the best product possible for their customers, just like you do. Every Google update, for better or for worse, was intended to improve the search results and the overall search experience so Google could keep their market share intact. If your website didn’t help them do that than chances are you got slammed by one or more of the 2012 Google updates.

So what can website owners and marketers do to prepare for the next big Google update?

The answer is actually astoundingly simple—stop trying to beat the system. In other words, don’t worry about Google and focus instead on your actual visitors.

For the most part, when a site puts their human visitors first, and not the Google search spiders, they are most of the way to great SEO. For example, a well-written, informative and engaging blog post is only going to need a little bit of “SEO,” in this case content optimization, to do well in the search engines. Someone who puts Google first knows that they need more content to fuel their SEO so they might write a dozen half-hearted blog posts with a couple links throw in for good measure. More content more better, right? On the other hand, someone who puts their audience first might only write 4 blog posts in the same amount of time but they each have something to offer to their human readers—a valuable insight, a useful nugget of information and so forth. The first writer is just trying to fill the SERPs with their brand by any means necessary; the second is actively working to connect with their audience.

There is bound to be a few more Earth-shattering Google updates in 2013 and when it comes to SEO the best defense is a good offense. Instead of trying to prevent a fallout thanks to a Google update position your site so that it will actually benefit from the next one. Write great content that is written for a human audience, even if means you have to put out a little less content. Focus on building links from sites that might actually drive some targeted traffic your way. Invest in social media marketing and build a strong social presence, create social signals and connect with industry thought-leaders. And remember to put your visitors first!

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