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Google's current rankring algorithm update

You have probably noticed that Google is currently updating its ranking algorithm. This seems to be a major update because many webmasters have seen big changes in their rankings.

The PageRank of dropped to PR2 in this latest update so there really seem to be some big changes in the new algorithm.

Google engineer Matt Cutts more or less declines that this is a big update in his blog:

"These days rather than having a large monolithic update, Google tends to have smaller (and more frequent) individual launches. [...]

My point is that more than ever, we are constantly working to improve our algorithms and scoring. Some changes are hardly noticed at all. Some changes (e.g. user interface improvements) are more visible. Some changes have nothing to do with spam [...] Some changes do try to decrease spam or increase core quality. [...]

And again, these PageRanks and backlinks have already been incorporated into scoring a while back (Google updates PageRank continually and continuously), but some people just love to look at PageRanks.)"

What has changed with this update?

Only Google's engineers know exactly what has been changed with this update. However, it seems that some factors seem to be important in this update:

  • Hidden text spam seems to be more penalized. While most search engines consider white text on white background spamming, it seems that Google now also recognizes text that is hidden in invisible CSS layers.
  • Links from automated link exchanges and text link advertising systems seem to count less.

As with every algorithm update, Google tries to remove the spam from its database with this update.

What should you do now?

First of all, don't panic. If your web site rankings have dropped, wait another week to make sure that the index update is over. If your web site is still not listed, take a look at what you might have done wrong.

If you use CSS to hide text on your web pages, consider removing that hidden text from your pages. Google doesn't seem to like that at all. If you use other techniques that might be considered spam, remove them from your pages.

If you have a links page, do not use a link exchange system with a central server but host your link pages on your own web site. Being part of a centralized system makes your web site vulnerable if the centralized system is considered spam.

After having removed the spam elements from your pages, do the following:

  1. Optimize

    Use IBP's Top 10 Optimizer to optimize your web pages for the new Google algorithm. The optimizer uses the current ranking algorithm to find out which web page elements Google wants to see on a web page for your keyword and your web site.

  2. Diversify

    We've said it before in this newsletter: don't put all eggs in one basket. Although it is very likely that you'll get high rankings on Google if you follow the tips above, you shouldn't focus on Google alone.

    Yahoo and MSN can also bring you qualified traffic. These search engines might not be as popular as Google but they are large enough to bring you so many customers that you could even do without Google. The key to a successful online business is to get qualified traffic from all big search engines.

    If you have web pages that are optimized for Google and Yahoo and MSN and Ask Jeeves then you won't get hurt so much when one of these search engines drops your rankings.

If your web site rankings on Google have dropped, don't panic and follow the tips above. Chances are good that you'll get your high rankings back.

If you worry about the dropped PageRank of your web site, you shouldn't care too much about it. If a major web site like gets a PageRank of 2, the green bar shouldn't get too much attention

Copyright - Internet marketing and search engine ranking software

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October 2005 search engine articles