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Jan
30

The Google Dance – What It Is and How to Avoid It

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You’ll often hear SEO experts talking about the Google dance and how it throws a wrench into their best-laid plans (in other words, search results).

Google uses secret algorithms to decide which sites get found in searches. As SEO experts, we work to crack that code as much as possible, figure out which methods help you get high in the search results, and implement them. But whenever Google changes its algorithms, and this occurs about ten times a year or so, everything goes haywire for a few days. You’re site that’s ranked consistently at first place for a certain keyword suddenly disappears without a trace. A site you have that’s been struggling shoots up to the first results page. This is the Google dance at work.

It’s kind of like a virtual earthquake. Everything goes crazy for a few days and then settles down, read  more ….

When you create a site and start building backlinks, it will be extra sensitive to the shuffle. You’ll see it shoot up and drop down dramatically in the search results and it will be frustrating.

The good news is that the Google dance isn’t nearly as disruptive as it used to be. Years ago, they would make huge changes that would be catastrophic to online marketers. Now they’ve got their algorithms more or less the way they want them and the changes they make don’t cause a great deal of havoc. Still, there are some things you can do to avoid taking a hit whenever things start shaking out of control.

Be Content-Rich

Sites that have lots of content before they start building backlinks usually are less affected by the Google dance. These updates are designed to penalize sites that don’t offer value and make using Google a better experience for web searchers. Sites that don’t offer much valuable content usually suffer. When building sites, make sure you have at least three pages (more is always better) with more than a thousand words of content on them before you start back linking.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Build your backlinks slowly and steadily. Google doesn’t like to see too many backlinks all at once. This says that the links aren’t being made organically. It looks like you’re engaging in shady practices, even if you aren’t. Choose a back linking strategy where you get consistent links and they grow over time rather than overnight.

Quality Backlinks

Focus on getting quality backlinks and building a link wheel. This means that you have a flow of traffic leading from a number of sites – social media, blogs, videos, etc. – to other sites and eventually back at your main site. It’s like a funnel where you have traffic from different sources eventually hitting your site. This will stabilize your site in the search engines and build a strong foundation of links.

Get Old

Older sites are less affected by the Google dance. Google likes old sites because if a site has been around for a while with fresh content updates, it figures you’re adding value to the marketplace. Be patient and over time, your site will stick to its spot in the search results.

Toby Russell

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