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Update Your Website or Google May Bury You

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on November 14, 2011 5:45 AM

"Google update." These two words can strike a chord of fear into the heart of any business owner that runs their own website. Not to mention send an entire team of search engine optimization specialists scrambling.

Sometimes when Google tinkers with its infamous search algorithm, certain websites may be left in the dust.

This newest update brings along an important warning: if you don't update your site regularly, you might be seeing a sudden drop in your web traffic.

Broken down, here's what you need to know to help your website:

  • What Google says about the update: The Internet giant says that their newest update will specifically impact searches for recent events, hot topics, regularly occurring events and information that changes regularly.
  • How much web traffic the update may affect: The previous "Panda" update affected around 12% of searches. Entrepreneur reports this newest update will impact around 35% of searches.
  • What this means for your website: If you operate in an industry where things are constantly changing, you might need to maintain fresh content on your site in order to keep on top of the search rankings. For example, if you deal with electronics, where new products and new technology are always coming in, you likely can't keep a stagnant web page.

So, what exactly can small business owners do to maintain their rankings?

  • Create a blogs section: Company-run blogs can help you and your customers keep abreast of recent updates in your industry. And it can create the kind of timely content necessary to stay on top of the rankings, according to Matt McGee, the executive news editor of Search Engine Land to Entrepreneur.
  • Update products or maintain a news section: Putting up news-based stories on your website might also satisfy the requirements of the new algorithm.

Of course, the costs of updating your site constantly is something that businesses should consider. The Google update may put a focus on "fresh" content for certain searches. But be aware: there are some industries that don't experience many changes that probably won't be affected at all.

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