For internet marketers, Google updates shouldn’t be anything new. Although they’ve certainly ramped up their efforts in the past few years (Mayday and Panda), Google’s been constantly updating their algorithms since the original creation of their search engine.

And with every update, there are two groups of people. The first group lives in near-constant confusion. Whenever Google releases an update, they get frustrated and are forced to relearn the new “tricks” associated with the latest algorithm. If they had websites making money before an update, these websites are usually worthless after the update.

Then there’s the next group. The SEO experts. The ones who “get it.”

These people KNOW updates will always be around the corner. They expect updates to happen and plan accordingly. They understand the basic idea Google tries to accomplish with each update, and, as such, when an update rolls out, their sites are largely unaffected.

The difference between these two groups starts with the overall mindset.

The first group is composed of SEO “followers.” These internet marketers scour “expert” blogs and learn all the latest and greatest SEO tips for any given algorithm. They then take these tips and use them on their own websites.

Unfortunately, these people are also prone to take SEO shortcuts. Before the Mayday update, they were the ones making hundreds of “Google Sniper” sites. Before Panda, they were the ones with completely spun and worthless content on all their websites.

Internet marketers like these are a dying breed. Why? 

Google’s getting smarter. 

With each algorithm update, more and more strategies designed to “game” their algorithm become obsolete. Eventually (look for this within a few years), Google will have an algorithm so advanced 99.9% of “black hat” strategies will be useless.  As you can probably tell, the first group is fighting an uphill battle.

Since we can never have control over what Google decides to do with their algorithm, we need to go with the flow, not against it!

Above all, Google is attempting to provide readers with the most valuable content available. They’ve become the top search engine because readers can consistently find the best and most relevant information on any topic with a simple search. Search is Google’s core business and they will not have their core business ruined by spammers pushing garbage websites to the top of their rankings.

How to Work With Google – Instead of Against Them

If we understand what Google’s main goal is, we can create an SEO strategy designed to work with Google. Instead of fighting against them at every turn, we can provide them with websites they’re already looking for in the first place.

If we do this, we become very resilient to algorithm changes. When Google rolls out an update designed to kill spam websites, our websites will receive MORE TRAFFIC as a result.

In general, there are two factors Google will always be looking for: quality, expert content, and popularity.

In other words, they’re looking for websites that deliver value to their readers. High-quality content from a credible source is valuable to visitors. When a reader gains value from a website, they’ll be willing to share that website with people they know. This is where popularity comes into play.

This is why backlinks were such an integral part of SEO for so many years. This is why, given the new “social net,” social votes are becoming crucially important to any successful SEO campaign.

YOU are the Expert

Before the Mayday updated, we saw internet marketers making websites based solely on keyword research. For example, if you saw the keyword “glass picture frames” had little competition and could be profitable, you might start up a website targeting that keyword.

Of course, how many people are really experts on “glass picture frames?” 

Not many.

If you keep this rule in mind, you’ll be able to weather virtually ANY algorithm update Google ever rolls out. When you start a website, you must provide your readers with expert content. 

If you’re not an expert on your topic, either become one or move to a different niche! If you provide your readers with terrible content, Google will know immediately (bounce rates, return visitors, etc). 

Don’t waste your time writing content no one wants to read.

And of course, the nice part about quality content is that popularity votes will always follow. When you’re supplying your readers with the information they need, they’ll share your website with others who need that information automatically.

This is how Google’s algorithm is designed to work. Follow this basic principle and you’ll never have confused about SEO again.

What’s Next for SEO?

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