No Google algorithm change hits completely unexpectedly. Word always seeps out when another Google change is imminent. Often enough, it’s Google themselves letting webmasters and SEOs know what’s in store for them down the road.
In many cases, those changes are nothing less than disruptive. Google Penguin impacted more than 3% of English-language searches. Not to be outdone, Panda 1.0 affected as many as 12% of searches in the United States. Enough to keep webmasters up at night worrying about the next Google Update to come.
Think of Google as your next-door neighbor. They’re the sociable type, prone to throwing loud parties bound to frustrate the entire neighborhood. What’s worse – their shindigs aren’t safely self-contained, but spill out onto your space, your lawn, affecting your property values letting you know they’re about to throw a loud party on your block. You’re not invited – not really. Just know it’s just going to be a pretty major inconvenience soon enough.
Google has thrown lavish parties before. Oh, first there was that Panda. And then earlier this year, Penguin. And there have been stylish soirees – smaller, more intimate – held all throughout the year: dinner parties that were the talk of the town, that inspired whole hosts of raised toasts (and fists) from those lucky enough to be in the know, and those looking in from the outside, respectively.
A history of Google’s frequent algorithm changes has more entries in it that my oft-abandoned personal diary, but they’re all of apiece. And that’s the rub. As much as the SEO industry is constantly changing – full of new stratagems, whispers of new Google innovations, forums packed with marketers trying to catch up with the times – there’s a constant through-line there: Develop great new content, promote your site responsibly and as common sense would dictate, ensure your site is as efficiently sharable and linkable as possible.
Those are the takeaways of every Panda & Penguin – both past and present. Much like your neighbor’s big annual, earth-shaking party, you know the next game-changing Google algorithm update is coming. You know it will be noisy. You know you’d best be prepared.