Expanding on the great post by Jeff Sliger, there’s many more thoughts and reading you should do to either prepare for the long haul in SEO or combat any huge drops you’ve recently experienced in your website.  Google details what they say are doing to “reward high quality sites” in a post on their Webmaster Central Blog written by the head of their spam team Matt Cutts.

In terms of reading/learning about the big change recently, I would start there as far as learning more about what has been officially called the “Penguin” update to their algorithm.  Last year it was a Panda which turned many websites upside down along with many lives, but this year, it’s a smaller symbolic creature, yet creating the same havoc, if not even more drops that will potentially be even more difficult to reverse or alter to be in the “good graces” of the biggest search engine in the world.

I wrote in a quick post titled “Why Google Still Dominates” over on our SEO Blog explaining why unfortunately, there’s not a better alternative to Google at this point, but it still doesn’t escape the fact that they truly have a significant impact on businesses here at a very fragile time economically.  While the well paid engineers and employees of the behemoth of a search engine comfortably worry probably less than the average business owner, they don’t realize these significant changes in how people are finding goods and services truly are in some cases almost destroying lives.   Comments like the following on Matt Cutt’s Google Plus account are common for a reason:

Justin Cooperman  5:32 AM

+1
Matt you’re a real FAGHEAD. Fuck your Adwords
And Justin wasn’t even replying to a post about search related matters.
Regardless of the anger and frustration it’s created, we have to do what we can. So, other reading and advice I would continue with are:
You would think Google could release these changes more incrementally where it doesn’t literally destroy a businesses’ opportunities to survive like they did with the “Caffeine” update around November last year.  They only went for 35% of the results which are still a lot, but could help a business which doesn’t lose ALL their traffic at once.  It’s kind of sad that they need a form that you have to submit that tells them they screwed up miserably “after the fact” when someone’s potentially dying financially with their website.

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