Search Engine Optimization, Positioning: Is Chasing Google Algorithms Worth It?

Google is the undisputed heavyweight champion of search engines. Most SEO (search engine optimization) companies pitch their tent around Google. Apart from being the king of search engines, unlike Yahoo and MSN, Google does not serve sponsored results on top of its search results, drawing away considerable attention/traffic away from the search results. Hence ranking high with Google is worth all the trouble it takes to get there. Little wonder then, that most SEO revolves round Google. When Google sneezes, the SEO world catches cold. When Google tweaks its search algorithms, SEO experts scamper back to the trenches to gaze at their crystal ball, to figure out what Google is up to.

What makes Google tick is simply because they serve the most relevant results for most search engine queries. They do this through their secret formula (algorithms), propounded by eggheads from academia and the industry, to rank sites according to its relevance to the search phrase. To continue to do that, they constantly tweak their magic portion, knowing fully well that SEO gurus are at their tail, trying to crack their secret code and beat the system. Before Yahoo and MSN went solo, they sourced for search engine results from Google.

It then makes simple common sense that to come tops in Google, you have to deliver unique valuable content, since that is what they are looking for. It is a simple win-win scenario. Google needs links to excellent content sites, so that they serve it to searchers, pull in traffic and drive up advert revenues. Searchers come to Google, and Google sends them to you. You end up with free highly targeted traffic to your site. Every one smiles to the bank.

This seems too simple for most webmasters to comprehend. There must be a shorter more convoluted way. Crack the secret code, and you are in business. So they try to figure out how Google ranks sites, and then go ahead to tweak their pages to suit. Much effort is put into trying to optimize the few pages they have, instead of adding more unique content. They play around with keyword density at the title, meta and alt tags, body, columns etc. They take their focus completely away from growing their site/business, and become fixated on tweaking the few pages they have to death.

There is nothing wrong with getting your keywords in the right places. The simple fact is, the Google Algorithm is very complex, and takes into account so many factors, that optimizing your pages alone will not do. Google is no fool.

Google's ultimate aim is to judge pages through the human eye. Since that is not feasible, having to contend with close to nine billion odd pages or so, they have to develop their own artificial intelligence to judge sites based on users response. To remain on top, they have to constantly improve on their algorithms. For Google algorithm chasers, that means constantly chasing after the wind. Google can afford to pay for the best brains in the world to develop its algorithms. Most SEO experts are managing to make a living. They are out numbered, out-classed, out-maneuvered and out-brained (if there is term like that). There is close to zero chance of catching up with Google. If you manage to, it is only for a season. At the next algorithm upgrade, you are left behind, yet again. It is a waste of time, energy and resources.

Commonsense makes the most sense, ultimately. Google is looking for unique content. Give it to them. You give them content and they send you traffic. Looks like a fair deal. This means you build your site for human visitors, not search engine spiders. Ultimately, human visitors determine the success of your site. If your content is not of much use to humans, there is nothing much search engine spiders can do for you. If you manage to get high rankings for a season, you will simply end up with window shoppers: they land in your home page, and off they go. To make it worse, by the next database update, your site will simply disappear from the radar. Your fifteen minutes fame is over. You are back to the trenches.

You have to decide upfront who you want to focus on, your customers/visitors or the engines. Decide who pays your bills, visitors or spiders. After you have decided, remain focused and stick with it. The search engines are looking for content. If you have a valuable content site, they are looking for you. Keep providing valuable content. Someday soon, they will recognize your efforts, and put you where you belong, at the very top. It is only a matter of time.

Usiere Uko is the webmaster of the Financial Freedom Inspiration website and editor of the monthly Financial Freedom Inspiration Newsletter, a free ezine to inspire you to exit the rat race and fulfill your God given dreams. To subscribe or visit the site, please visit . He is also webmaster of

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