My inbox has been flooded with newsletters that I subscribe to from SEO, marketing, and Web development sites. And lately all they seem to be talking about is Google. Panda. Penguin. Whatever update they're rolling out or mucking around with at the moment, it's always the same cry. "The Internet as we know it is ending! Duck, cover and prepare yourself for plummeting rankings and slashed income! Aaaaaah!"
Seriously. That's what it feels like nearly every time I check my email. Enough already.
I've learned over the years not to let Google algorithm updates get my panties in a twist. I don't care if they suddenly don't like a certain kind of linking. I don't care if they pull a magic number out of their ass and say this is how long your content should be if you want to rank better. I don't care if they suddenly say I'm updating blogs too much or not enough. I don't even care that they're hellbent on screwing around with search relevancy in favor of current and more "social" content.
So what? The only thing that matters to me is my business. And I'll continue to do what I feel is right based on the needs of my readers and target markets. That's my job. And do you know what? Sticking to my guns about putting readers first and letting Google deal with Google's own sh*t has worked out well over the years. Sure, I have fluctuations up and down in rankings. But for the most part my sites rank very well for primary keywords in my niches. The only exception was a business blog which was hit hard when they lashed out against private ads (and I wouldn't change my business model because they couldn't handle faults in their algorithm).
So no. I don't stress each time Google unleashes an algorithm update. And because I haven't pandered to search engines from Day One, I don't have to stress and wonder if some seedy SEO tactics are suddenly going to get me penalized. And even if my sites do drop in the rankings, I know it's not the end of the world. I've been a responsible business person in that I haven't been stupid enough to rely solely or primarily on Google for traffic. Anyone who builds a business relying too heavily on a third party frankly deserves whatever they get.
What about you? Are worried about all the latest Penguin update chatter? Or will it just be business as usual for you, your blogs, and your business? What's your philosophy on catering to search engines? Do you anally follow all of their "rules" for the Web, or do you take a more independent stance and do whatever you think is right for your specific sites and readers? If you lost most of your Google traffic tomorrow, would it put it out of business? I sure hope not. The way I see it is this -- there are far better things to get my blood pressure up over than Google. You?
Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.
She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.
Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.
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