Your Website is Up Against Competition & Moving Goal Posts

With every passing day the Internet is becoming an increasingly competitive place. There are more businesses carving out their niche online, existing businesses are taking steps to become experts at promoting their websites, and to cap it all, the search engines are constantly refining their algorithms to make it more difficult to get that coveted number -1 spot.

They don't intend to just make it difficult for us of course: the whole reason for being if you're a search engine is to become the best at serving searchers precisely what they're looking for in a split second. If your site in any way hinders search engines from doing their job you will incur penalties.

Understanding this point will take you a long way towards your goal of domination of your niche online.

It will help you not to take it personally when months of hard work getting your site to rank well are destroyed in one fell swoop by a Google algorithm shift. It can happen. But if you take the trouble to observe, you can often avoid the worst of web fluctuations.

Hang on to Your Hats--Google Algorithm Update Alert

Google is about to make one of those updates to its algorithms, and as Jason Lee Miller of WebProNews tells us, the fault lies with BlackHat spammers who have been manipulating search rankings so that malicious web pages are taking the top spots.

Algorithm updates don't always go the way they're expected to it seems. Back in 2007 Aaron Wall of SEOBook reported an update that was giving some highly unexpected results where authority sites were being demoted in favor of spammy sites. So updates sometimes end up making things worse, not better.

The advent of an update is just one more reminder that you should choose who you follow online carefully: pick the right people to observe and you will enjoy the advantage of knowing with a measure of certainty whether you're on the right path or not.

You may be wondering how you can optimize your site to avoid the worst ravages of a change in search engine algorithms. There are certainly a few pointers that will help to keep you stable in stormy seas, but when all is said and done the Internet is an unpredictable place. Part of the excitement is that the status quo can change from day to day--even hour to hour.

Here's the list:

1. Keep close tabs on leading search engine experts: Aaron Wall of SEO Book Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz, Matt Cutts of Google, Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Search Engine People, and of course SEOscoop!.
2. Follow as many search engine optimization best practices as you can.
3. Keep an eye on what spammers and Black Hatters are doing, such as cloaking for example, so you can avoid being associated with them in any way.
4. Provide lots of fresh, useful content. Over time this can prove to be your best protection against fluctuation in search engine algorithms because it will encourage authoritative incoming links from reputable sites.
5. Arrange for some good incoming links from social media and other sources.