Have Google’s Changes Been for the Best?

Have Google’s Changes Been for the Best?

If you have been following the world of SEO of late, then you will know that there have recently been many changes to Google in terms of its algorithms as well as its policies and numerous features. This is something that has been a source for some controversy across the web as it has resulted in some sites being de-indexed, some businesses losing a lot of money, and some changes seemingly forcing the search engine to take a step back in terms of quality and function. Meanwhile there is also the concern and accusations that Google's recent changes might be a little too much like market monopoly.

But of course people like to complain, and Google is a very successful and very smart company that presumably knows what it's doing. So the question is, overall, are the changes for the better or for the worse? Here we will examine that question.

Algorithm Changes

With the recent changes to the Google algorithm, many site owners saw their rankings go down and their site suffer as a result. Seeing as it's bloggers and webmaster who write the web that kind of tends to mean that reviews of the changes aren't going to be favourable. This is why it's important to look at the algorithm changes a little more objectively yourself.

I personally was one of the web masters who experienced some negative effects in my rankings which mean that one of my smaller sites when down from 1,500 views a day to a mere 1,000. At first I was annoyed as you might imagine, but I did then notice that my site's CTR meanwhile went up – and actually this meant that I wasn't earning much less than before.

And what this leads me to believe is that the traffic coming in to my site is probably now more relevant and targeted – which is good news for me obviously but also for the visitors as it means they're reading something they're actually likely to be interested in.

Many people have complained that competitive search times such as 'make money online' have recently been effectively ruined, and this is a fair complaint – looking at the SERPs for these terms now reveals a whole lot of cyber squatters and empty blogs. This is apparently due to the sheer amount of spam that was previously filling up these top positions and presumably we'll see this change in future as Google continues to improve here.

The other problem with this move is that many sites that meant well also got hit, and a lot of site owners who tried legitimately to climb up the SERPs for many years have been punished seemingly with no explanation. Ultimately though cutting down on spam and black hat strategies would be a good thing if they got it right and no one wants Google to favour the site with the most low quality links.

New Features and Policies

The new features Google has been adding once again are both good and bad. On the one hand, the integration of Google+ has allowed writers to get their image and a link to their profile listed next to their links in the rich snippets and this has allowed us to make our articles stand out more.

On the other hand the local listings taking priority over organic results has oddly swayed the SERPs and again damaged many people's honest SEO attempts. Meanwhile the semantic search is in theory a clever move, but is also sadly one that also seems to 'steel' information from websites in order to publish it on Google's own SERPs.

At the end of the day though, whatever you think about Google's changes, it has to be said that they are still the best search engine. I tried swapping to Bing for a while recently and unfortunately found simply that it wasn't up to task. For this reason it's hard to knock Google too much, and I feel fairly confident that in the long run they probably know what they're doing.

Paul is a blogger and webmaster. He writes about Google, SEO and blogging and recommends his favorite Orlando data center company Atlantic.net to his readers.

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  • avatar

    One thing people tend to forget about Google is that they are constantly changing. They tend to roll with the punches, change policies and answer the needs of majority of consumers. In other words, doing the mentioned changes didn’t come from nowhere. This was an answer to a research into something in the system that just wasn’t working. The way I see it, Google altered it in such a way that quality will now float upwards and black hat SEO and other shady methods will slowly but surely sink to the bottom of the pile.

  • avatar

    @BudgetWays . I did not understand everything they tried, but I do for sure agree with you, they failed 😉 😀

  • avatar

    I can understand the reasoning behind Google’s decision to update their algorithm, but I personally feel it’s done more harm than good. I know a lot of my high performing sites were hit, and hit hard by the updates, and for no apparent reason – all link building was white hat and natural. 🙁
    And now I’ve been reading reports and experiments with negative SEO, where an unethical website owner may blast their competitors sites with spammy backlinks, and blow them out of the SERPs.
    With the increasing regularity and intensity of Google algorithm changes, I just think it’s important for webmasters to diversify their traffic strategies, and utilize other mediums such as social networking or PPC advertising in order to continue running a profitable website. 🙂

  • avatar

    I agree with the part about Google’s changes being for the worst. The focus on local listings has given a “niche” spin to everything that isn’t real life. No one’s life is that compartmentalized. Personally, I think it’s gimmicky and makes searches less organic. I know that you said Bing isn’t up to par (certainly not with images or video either, Google has that cornered with YouTube); however, I think Yahoo can get an edge on this market with the right demographic. IF this company steps up their management and aggressively targets this group.

  • avatar

    Personally, I can totally understand what Google was trying to do with their update, but I think they failed. When I do specific searches to get help with some specific issue, the results are so full of synonyms that I more often than not have to go back and recalibrate my search term again and again until I can find an acceptable solution to my problem. I have started re-using Yahoo and even Bing when doing these types of searches.

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