How Google Affects Your Website

A human foot about to step on a banana

Rarely does anything stay the same. Sudden and often rapid alterations, modifications, mutations and enhancements are even more evident on the web. One company especially, can affect more websites at the same time than perhaps most others put together.

As Google continue their relentless drive for continual improvement, perhaps for the foreseeable future, we may be faced with regular (and irregular) search engine updates and changes. So how can we help ensure some continuity?

Could search engine updates become a weekly, daily, or even hourly occurrence? Perhaps. More importantly, how might those updates affect your website? Yet, does that even matter — providing your have the right "model" in place?

One short solution could be to follow the model and approach to website building:

  • Create your own original, unique value. If you copy someone else's material, your own website value goes down in the perceptions of search engines like Google.
  • Provide innovative solutions that genuinely help your visitors, customers and clients.
  • Pick a problem, think about the problem and look for a new angle. Then create your solution to that problem, using your angle. Share some of your ideas on the public web. You can reserve more information behind website membership access if you choose, or include in special reports, ebooks, podcasts, consultancy packages, and more. 
  • Write about what you do clearly, concisely, but seek to cover each topic sufficiently. For in depth coverage, consider writing at least 800 — 1000 words.
  • Deep coverage can have more benefits, sometimes. Even 4000 carefully crafted words or more, can offer exceptional value, though do remember, while search engines generally prefer more quality word content, some people may often prefer less.
  • Appreciate that relevant video and audio content can add contrast and quality to a web page, that users appreciate. In addition, you can offer videos, audio, and podcasts to provide alternative ways to share information and ideas. Sometimes, you can mix and match text, graphics, and video on a web page to provide an all-in-one solution to better meet personal preferences of different kinds of people. Some people are more visually driven (video), others like more text, some like sound only that they can download and perhaps listen to while driving a vehicle, some like pictures, and some like to have access to everything. 
  • In your web page writing and content creation efforts, consider two audiences: (1) people first, (2) search engines second. While ultimately people will provide your income, if search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing can better understand your content, they can help your web promotion efforts.
  • Never forget that bots bring people. Many websites focus solely on human users, ignoring everthing relating to search engines and the robot software they use (bots). However, when writing for the web, if we don't consider search engines, we make understanding a web page harder for search engines to do, therefore may miss out. A search engine that misunderstands your website, could misinterpret what you're doing, which may lead to bad outcomes. Therefore, above all, be clear, without even a hint of deception to both people and search engines.
  • Stay updated to news about search engine changes, but don't become too obsessed or fearful about repercussions of not keeping up to date. Why: your main focus is your customers and clients, not search engines. Just do your best. If search engines make the price of staying updated too high, other alternatives usually emerge. Remember our mantra: "There's always another way".
  • Use CSS-based website designs that are accessible, usable, on PCs, Apple Macs, tablet computers, and smart mobile phones.
  • If possible, use or upgrade to a "responsive web design" based website template, to help make a single website version that can be accessed by all modern web access devices, and interpreted better by Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines.
  • Ideally, ensure your website uses up to date coding techniques - the more recent, the better.
  • Don't be too concerned about outside influences — whatever their size!
  • A simpler approach. Consider two pointers and watch your efforts bear fruit: (1) take the time to learn a little about what search engines want. Then (2) combine your newly found knowledge with the simple desire to be respectful and considerate to people online most of whom you'll probably never meet in person. 

To gain further insights into these now common Google phases, and get a feel for how things change, sample the video below courtesy of Mike MacDonald, WebProNews interview with Google Engineer, Matt Cutts.

In true WebProNews and Google style, your web video clip interview below is deceptively light hearted and upbeat. Yet I suggest, make no mistake: there are hints, tips and techniques here we can all learn from — especially take note of "website architecture" revelations at position 6:25 minutes and beyond:

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