SEO: about WHY google occasionally changes their ranking algorithms

Yesterday, a business owner asked me about how google occasionally changes their ranking algorithms. My assertion is that they measure “user-friendly” pages basically the same as ever. They mainly change their algorithms to “catch” websites that are “cheating” in various ways.

For instance, if a company hires 200 people in Indonesia to type in certain search terms and then click a certain page in the next 8 hours, google wants to “catch” that kind of unusual activity and then filter out that information when ranking a site or page. So, when a certain business jumps up in rank after google changes algorithms, that may have been simply because a bunch of other sites that used to be ranked higher got downgraded.

So, there are two types of “SEO” (factors that effect ranking). There is “on-page SEO,” which means the content of the page (and google’s measurements of what happens after people arrive at a page). Next, there is “off-page SEO,” which is basically about “back-links.” What links are pointed FROM other sites (like Facebook or Youtube) to your pages, plus how popular are those links (in regard to the number of people actually clicking on them- or at least liking the post or sharing the content)?

Off-page SEO is where most of the “cheating” happens. Ultimately, when a website is very user-friendly, then that is when “backlink campaigns” will be most effective. Many SEO companies pour money in to “backlink campaigns” that provide little long-term benefit.

A much better investment might be to improve the lay-out of a site (or a page) for mobile devices, which can be relevant for a large percentage of your actual prospects for emergency repair services [note that I was writing this to the owner of a damage restoration contractor]. If your site is not coded well for mobile devices, google will see that and rank accordingly. So, people searching on a mobile device will get different search results from google than people searching on a desktop or laptop.

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