Search Engine Updates vs. SEO

Webmasters always anxiously wait for a search engine update. Those who rank well want to see their sitesget even better. Those who didn't do well expect a major boost. Those whose sites get de-indexed anticipatea major comeback. Those who just started new sites bet on their sites will make into the first page ofsearch engine result pages (SERPs) for their targeting keywords. Of course, not everyone will be happy aboutthe results of search engine updates. After all, search engine traffic is a zero-sum game - someone losesand someone gains. Then, the webmasters start preparing for next update.

The Business Reasons Behind The Major Updates

All major search engines claim that they strive to present search results to users with the highest quality. Butthe business of search engine is business. What they won't tell us is that there're many business reasons forevery major search engine updates. Search engine traffic is hot commodity - it's free and has higher conversion ratesince the searchers are very close to make their buying decisions. The downside of the search traffic for webmastersis that they don't have control at all. Your sites may be ranked #1 today, but nowhere next day.

Search engine companies will, no doubt, use the search engine traffic to maximize the values for their stakeholders. Google's Feb. 2 update(allegra update or Superbowl update) once again shocked the webmaster community like last Florida update. The noticeable changein Superbowl update is that well-established sites rank well even for specific keywords that aren't even highlyrelevant to their pages. You may think the move is to fight spams and improve the quality of SERPs. That's only part of thestory. The results of the update is that the websites of well-established corporations (with never ending press releases)will get a major traffic boost from Google. Google does this by algorithm changes, not manual manipulations.

If we think search engine traffic from Google is really an incentive to try it free before you buy. This time, Google decides tolure the major corporations to test the benefits of search traffic. Major corporations will likely increase their spendingin online advertising and those news agencies may even drop their law sues against Google if they see the traffic from Googlejustifies that their sites benefit from including in Google index database.

Is this the real driving force behind last update? Only Google knows. If you own Google, however, you will do the exactly the same.

Will this negatively impact the user experience? - maybe and maybe not. What is the real difference between the #1 spotand the site that ranks #100? - the backlinks. Backlinks don't alter the quality of a page at all.

When they say technology, they mean business. Major technology changes are always driven by business needs. It has nothing to do with "good" or "bad".

Strategies to Cope with search Engine Updates

The Internet and the Web was once hailed as the new medium and the new opportunity for small business and site owners.They will be disappointed as big three peek into fortune 500 companies's deep packets. There're strategies they can use tocope with the search engine updates, however.

1. Create a portfolio of website using different SEO techniques. If some of your sites get hammered in a update the rest may benefitfrom the update.

2. Generate traffic from all major search engines.

3. Use the search traffic to build loyal user bases.

4. Build sites similar to the sites of well-established companies. The tags, on-page, off page optimizationtechniques will become less and less important as major corporations aren't interested in those types of things that geek webmastersare interested.

Speculation on Coming Updates

The next Google update is around the corner. I won't expect any noticeable change. If Google decides to let big apples trysearch traffic free. They will need a couple of months to realize the values of the search traffic.

There will be major re-distribution of search traffic in 3 or 6 months. If the same group of major corporations always get hugeamount of free traffic from Google. They won't bother to open their wallets. The major traffic distribution may be from one group of majorcorporations to another. The search traffic will unlikely sift back to small sites.

Copyright Bruce Zhang 2005

Bruce Zhang operates a website that automatically aggregates and categorizesSEO news, new articles, and forum threads from over 50 sources daily ( ) to help webmasters and SEO professionals to keep up with the latest development in search engine marketing. The website also offers original thoughts on SEO.

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