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More Google search changes...

(Or, Algorithm changes and the art of content marketing maintenance)

Hardly a week goes by without Google announcing more changes to the way it decides to deliver SERP listings. In fact, it claims to make around 500 amendments to search annually, which is quite a lot...

And last week was no different, with Google publishing a blog that began ominously: “Today we’re publishing another list of search improvements...”

Surely this means more struggle and strife and budget directed towards website changes and fresh SEO strategies?

Not really. Because, while it’s true marketers are fighting a continual SEO battle to retain and gain ranking on results pages, it is worth remembering that of the 500 amendments mentioned above most are smaller changes that don’t necessarily impact too greatly on what content producers need to be doing.

This year there have been two major updates to the algorithm. The first of which, Panda, was very well publicised, took effect back in February and was designed to reward high quality original content. More recently, just last month in fact, Google introduced a ‘freshness update,’ which encouraged regularly updated sites and recent, up-to-date content.

Both of those updates shouldn’t have caused too many problems for brands carrying out effective content marketing activities. In order to fulfil the requirements of effective content marketing and to ensure you don’t fall foul of those two updates, you’ll need to be producing original, high quality material, which doesn’t hang around at the top of your site for months on end. The changes are encouraging the kind of fresh, relevant content that often makes good marketing collateral.

In some ways changes such as the ones described above should be seen as a welcome helping hand, serving to shape and help you scrutinise the direction taken by the content of your marketing materials (content marketing?). 

Algorithm changes shouldn’t necessarily be something to fear. Like many technological developments you can’t avoid, it’s often better to embrace them early on and look to exploit the potential benefits they offer.

Of course it is important to keep up to date with what’s going on in the world of search. And luckily Google is ramping up its already colossal collection of search blogs, videos and forum posts, with the addition of an extra stream, dedicated specially to the smaller changes that take place pretty much every day. Subscribe to the new blog.