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General Search Engine Marketing Issues Forum

Chasing the Algos
Are you a victim?

 5:40 pm on Dec 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

How many of us chase the algorithms of the search engines? Why do we do that?

How many of us make constant changes to pages in pursuit of chasing the algos? Has it helped or hindered your progress?

They may seem like unusual questions but I'm seeing a rise of people who are expecting things to happen overnight when they make changes to their site while chasing the shadow of an algo. Many end up being one or two steps behind that algo and never really catch up.

Whatever happened to the build it, optimize it and then leave it be approach? Build more, optimize it and leave that be. Etc.

Do you really think it is of benefit to make major changes to your pages on a weekly, or even a monthly basis? I can see the daily grind of content management which usually focuses on new content and not that which is already posted. I prefer to build a page, check it, double check it, triple check it and then leave it be. The results of my efforts will eventually come to bear fruit, its a given in most instances. And, I don't have to waste my time keeping up with the daily changes that the search engines are making.

Folks, marketing on the Internet is now a long term proposition. The days are gone when you could build a thousands pages and have them ranking in 24-48 hours. Let me add that this does not apply to all sites. Many high PR sites can add content and have it ranking within days, sometimes hours depending on the authority of the site.

And, in reference to major changes, how long do you think it takes for the search engines to figure out that you just changed the meaning of your page? Here it has been sitting there getting indexed with one meaning. Then you decide to make major changes to that page. Expect everything to start from ground zero when you do this. You'll have a little bit of juice to work with from the existing page, but that will soon go away if the page changes in meaning too much.



 6:24 pm on Dec 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Build-it-and-forget-it might be fine if the algo was static and never changed, it isn't of course, so why should our pages be?

Build-it-and-forget-it also implies that the builder never learns anything that would make the page better optimized after it was first built.

There is a middle ground between the build-it-and-forget-it and the change-of-the-day approach to optimization.

Webmasters who are looking for long term success shouldn't be afraid, or unwilling, to occasionally make carefully considered changes to a page.

Michael Anthony

 6:36 pm on Dec 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

My own view is that one should make changes, but small changes one at a time. Wait to see if the change has an impact, then repeat or reverse as necessary.

Leaving things alone would only ever work if all one's competitors had the same approach to SEO. If the algo changes and your competitor makes some changes which means that they now outrank you, do you still leave things alone?

Many people I know have made the mistake of reading something new about an algo and making multiple changes simultaeneously. It may work, it may not, but they end up lost because they don't know which changes caused which outcome.


 3:12 am on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Build it, buy tons of links on a regular basis - works fine.

Everything else just works, but very slowly.

Unethical yes - but that is the difference.

If it is for a client then expect to have a loooong working relationship and an unhappy one.


 9:49 pm on Dec 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

I follow michaels approach, loging what I did and when on a spreadsheet and saving an unedited version on a USB pen just in case I hurt the site,.


 2:53 pm on Jan 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

I follow michaels approach, logging what I did and when on a spreadsheet and saving an unedited version on a USB pen just in case I hurt the site.

But, how does one know that the most recent change logged was the cause? Can you be a 100% certain that the last logged change is in fact the cause?

I spent a little more time in the Google forum these past two weeks. I was suprised at the volume of traffic that centers around people making changes at the whims of the algo. I mean, there are people chasing that algo daily. They are making changes here, changes there, more changes here and more changes there. While the first change never really had time to take effect. From my perspective, that is like adding insult to injury.


 4:40 pm on Jan 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

This discussion reminds me of an old thread: "The best SEO tactic is to do nothing at all? [webmasterworld.com]"

Build a good site using solid, basic SEO, and worry about finding as many 'alternative' (outside SE) ways to market it that you can. IMO.

If you have played Football Manager 2007, you will know that there are SO many variables, that sometimes you have NO idea why you won or lost.

Tweaking individual pages on a daily basis would seem to be in line with this. :)


 6:44 pm on Jan 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

There is a huge difference between frequent tweaking based on every new theory that comes along and making occasional and carefully thought out changes when you become aware of better, perhaps more effective ways to build.

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