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Google’s Big Change Not So Big

Nothing sends search engine optimizers into a tizzy like the announcement of a change in Google’s search algorithm. Another came late last month, followed by much brow furrowing and hand wringing in the search engine optimization community.

People who work in SEO for a living parse every word of Google’s blogs, every public statement of its search engineers and every perceived change in ranking, as they attempt to find every possible SEO edge, no matter how small.

But the fact is that most of these changes don’t affect most Web sites. And “fine-tuned” SEO, no matter how skilled the practitioner, won’t help any site that doesn’t have a solid foundation of quality content.

This latest algorithm change highlights the importance Google places on content. It actually is two changes, one to filter sites that take content from other sites, the “scrapers”, and the other to filter sites that dump loads of content that is keyword rich but generally useless to the Google user, the “content farms.”

As much interest as this latest change has gotten, it still is but one of hundreds of changes Google makes every year. The intent always is to improve Google’s utility to users, which translates to fighting the “black hat SEO” techniques that manipulate the system to improve the quality of the search results.

The primary way Google does this is by evaluating the content of a Web site. There are many ways Google does this, and identifying and downgrading content farms and scraper sites is one. Regardless content is what gets Google’s attention, and this is one of the reasons we stress the importance of having a blog. There’s no easier way to add a steady stream of quality content to a Web site.

There’s more to doing well on Google, of course, but of all the variables, quality content is the only one that is absolutely required.

How’s does your site stack up? If you’re interested in knowing how your site is performing and how it can do better, give us a call for a Web Site Audit. We’ll evaluate your SEO status, your content and more to help make sure your site fully supports your marketing objectives.

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