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E-Marketing Performance Blog

Are You Chasing Algorithms or are They Chasing You?


I’m not much of an algorithm chaser, but I fully understand the need to stay abreast of the algorithm changes and updates. In fact, the best SEOs are those that refuse to chase the algorithms but rather understand what it is the algorithms are looking for with today’s changing technologies.

For the most part, algorithm changes shouldn’t have a significant impact on how we do SEO. SEOs who are doing it right do more for the visitor than for the search engines.

However, because technology changes, as does how people use the web, search engines have to adapt to stay relevant. Which means that there are some factors that will be a part of tomorrow’s algorithms that we’ll need to account for.

The beauty is, web marketers can and should be adapting to these changes just as rapidly as the search engines. We don’t need search engines to tell us that engaging in social media is good for the business. Nor do we need search engines to tell us that writing good content is a good idea too. Or that if you want mobile users to interact properly with your website you need to present an optimized mobile version.

These are all just common sense and are things web marketers should already be doing.

But sometimes there are technical issues that affect search engines more than visitors. For example, pushing your whole site to HTTPS has an impact on your visitor’s data, but most visitors don’t really care until they get to submitting personal data. That’s where it matters. Except Google has made full site HTTPS a ranking small ranking signal, so we suggest this to our clients where it makes sense.

What else may be a ranking factor tomorrow? We can only guess. Good SEOs are those that guessed yesterday, are implementing today and are preparing for the algorithm to change again tomorrow. If we are waiting on the algorithms to change then, ultimately, we are falling behind.

You don’t need to chase algorithms. If you are far enough ahead, the algorithms will be chasing you!

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

2 Responses to Are You Chasing Algorithms or are They Chasing You?

  1. Dave says:

    Well, I usually don’t choose any algorithm, but from April 21, the mobile-friendly algorithm will chase all the websites that have only the desktop version.
    I don’t know if these websites can lose all the visitors that use mobile phones to access the internet, but is not very wise to test if the algorithm is real on our own online businesses.

    • Julie Graff
      Julie Graff says:

      Absolutely! This is a rare instance where everyone has been given a clear decree from Google, so everyone should run with it.