Doing The Google Shuffle

Google changed its ranking algorithm again this past week and, as usual, it’s good for some and bad for others.  I was pleased to see that one of my clients who has been online for 7+ years and has a very niche market is back in the top 3.   For 6 years (once I got them set up and gave Google time to rank them), they were always in the top 3 for their keyword of choice.  Then a year ago, Google implemented major changes and, almost overnight, this company that is the largest online seller of their type of products, dropped to the 2nd page.

I use only “white hat” SEO methods, but the client who manages her own product database had gone a tad (a lot?) overboard on that keyword phrase in the succeeding years, as she added more products.  It took months of cleaning up product descriptions, etc. to delete the “offending”, but accurate, keyword to get her back on page 1 of results.

I noticed in April that she was moving up more and then, after the change a few days ago, she is again in the top 3.

The lesson to be learned: we’re at Google’s mercy!   Her products and targeted audience haven’t changed and her site has more of her type of products than any other online site.  While she could, and probably was, “guilty” of keyword stuffing, even that is a matter of opinion.   Pretty much everything she sells fits that keyword, so why wouldn’t she use it when describing the particulars of a product?

I don’t mean to be cagey by not providing her website, but it’s irrelevant to this subject.  Plus, I fear Google’s wrath!

Along those lines, I own a site that is very, very old that has always been in the top 3 or 4 for the very same keyword.  No more.  The content of the site hasn’t changed drastically over the years, but instead of being in the top 5, at least, I’m lucky to find my site on page 4.

The takeaway from that situation?   The only thing that changed, relative to the website and/or Google, is that Google started charging to show items in their Shopping section.   Since my site doesn’t actually sell products, but merely promotes them, I think it’s been penalized because I’m not contributing to Google’s revenues.

Now, let’s hope Big Brother doesn’t find out which sites I’m talking about!