March 9, 2011

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is undoubtedly a very important way to get people to visit your website.

But, as shown in the last few days, Google can change the rules without warning. This week, the Google algorithm changed. That’s the recipe Google uses when it’s deciding how to rank sites in its search results. The algorithm is a tightly guarded secret, so competitors can’t emulate it, and so websites can’t game it to get easy high rankings.

Google says the reason for the change is to promote quality sites that produce useful, original content and penalise ‘content farms’ – sites that simply replicate good content from lots of sources in an attempt to lure search engines.

Since the change, sites such as Mahalo.com have seen their web traffic plummet by 75% overnight – and Mahalo.com is faced with laying off 10% of its staff as a result.

The lesson: Don’t put all your eggs in one online basket. Provide a great product or service – and use all of the digital channels at your disposal to promote it.

As Fred Wilson said
“Live by SEO, die by SEO. Don’t be a google bitch.”