For those of us that closely watch Google’s every move to see what it will do next to change its search algorithms, there has been a surge of activity on the internet in recent days. Google has made a series of changes to its Panda algorithm that seems to have affected certain sites negatively.

The main point of Google’s constant updating is to ensure that when it comes to indexed websites, the higher the quality, the higher the ranking. The details of Google’s algorithms and their updates are fiercely guarded secrets, preventing any sort of “gaming” of the system by unscrupulous SEO providers.

Rather than discuss the mechanics of their algorithms, Google provides general guidelines as to what makes a quality website according to them. The bottom line is: make a website that provides a rich experience for the user, not the search engine. A series of key points for webmasters can be found in this article on Google quality website criteria.

Beyond the on-page factors that can affect ranking, off-page factors significantly contribute to boosting a site’s quality in the eyes of Google. This idea relates to a couple of the points outlined in Google’s article on their quality criteria, namely the website’s authority and shareable content. Having several inbound links to a site tells Google that this site is a recognized authority on a given topic. It also means that people are engaged by its content and are compelled to share it with others.

Link building for SEO is effective, but is particularly subject to Google algorithm updates since it relies on outside sites that a webmaster (or SEO service provider) may not have control over. Some sites used in link building and citations may change in standing with Google, shut down, or be modified in such a way as to hurt the linking process, such as enabling nofollow links.

With all this in mind, it’s easy to see how the process of search engine optimization is an ongoing process that requires constant vigilance and finesse. We cannot predict Google’s actions nor know the details of their algorithms, but we can ensure that we respond to any changes in a prompt and efficient way every time. Google updates are the norm, and anticipating them is a best practice for an SEO services provider like BlueHat Marketing. It’s a proven way to ensure that our clients are getting the highest return out of their online marketing investment.