One of the biggest debates on the web right now is search engine traffic. Google recently sparked renewed debate with the change to their algorithm.
According to Google, the purpose of the change was to reduce the rankings for the low quality sites and increase the rankings for high-quality sites. Google’s definition of a high quality site is one with original content and information such as research, in depth reports and thoughtful analysis.
The main goal is to reduce the number of scraped or copied content from their search results and improve the search experience for their users looking for original content.
Panic in the Realm of SEO
Of course this change sparked panic around the web as site owners anxiously awaited a potential drop in traffic.
Now this isn’t the first time that Google has made a change to their algorithm.
Mostly, these changes have result in 3 affected groups
- Anxiety sets in amongst the black hat SEO practitioners, who see a drop in their traffic and have to figure out new tactics to game the system
- Those who are playing fair generally go about their business and watch the drama unfold.
- Those who were playing fair but got affected inadvertently by the change.
Here are my thoughts on the entire practice. In general, the search results on google have declined in quality as people have figured out how to create efficient content farms. The reality is that a change like this is probably good for the web overall. This assumes that the change in the algorithm does what it is supposed to do.
However, with any type of action, there are going to be unintended consequences. There have been stories of reputable sites that were affected by the change in the algorithm. At the same time, there are also a number of reports of content farms drastically losing ranking.
Anytime there is a change, there will be statistical anomalies. I believe that those who are practicing white hat SEO can ride out the downturn and regain their previous momentum. It’s the ones who practice the black hat SEO that need to completely rebuild their strategies.
In my case, I’ve been lucky enough to practice a policy of writing all my own content and generally not focusing on SEO. While this may not be the fastest path to growth, I have seen a steady increase in search engine traffic.
This is a chart of my search engine traffic over the last month:
Yes, the overall numbers aren’t staggering, but they are trending upwards.
How Have I Been Getting Search Engine Traffic
I wrote a post a few months back about how a fictional modern day Shakespeare might approach SEO. No, I don’t consider myself Shakespeare, but I am an admirer. That post reflects my philosophy on SEO. While it is an important practice, it’s much more important to focus on writing quality content for your audience.
I try to write on topics that I find interesting. I will write on different programs that I am trying out. I will write about my thoughts on life lessons for my son (and relate them to blogging). I will write whenever I learn something new about blogging and pass on the lesson in this blog. When I write, I try to focus more on getting my message across rather than trying to stuff keywords.
I haven’t really done much more than posting regularly and blog commenting as time permits. The majority of my traffic comes from social media. However, as you can see, my search engine traffic has been on the rise.
My formula for this growth is simple.
content + time = traffic
I don’t really know if I figured out a magic formula. My search engine numbers are not incredible, but I do believe that with the current growth, it will be pretty good in the near future.
The other thing is that I’ve been lucky enough not to get affected by the change in the google algorithm. It actually looks like my search engine traffic increased at a slightly faster pace after the change.
I’m always reminded that in life there really are no shortcuts. It’s best to take your time and craft quality content. Over time, you will be rewarded for your efforts.
Also, google’s algorithm change also highlights another important lesson. That is one of diversification. It’s always a good idea to diversify. Not just your income and investment strategies, but also your traffic generation strategies. That way any changes such as this will only affect a portion of your overall traffic.
And remember, “What Google giveth, Google can take away…”