Optimising your site in order to achieve high rankings in the search engines on selected keywords is in principle, not so difficult. There are however, two reasons that it has become so complex and requires specialist skills to get real results by way of optimal rankings for your website in the search engines.
The first reason is that the leading search engines (Google in particular) keep the specifics of their search algorithm a closely guarded secret which changes regularly without notice. To some extent you are left second guessing what you should be doing.
The second reason is that countless individuals and groups are out to beat Google at their game by finding backdoor and underhand techniques for getting high rankings for your sites. These quite often are referred to as "Black hat" techniques. Alternatively, where such practices may not be Black hat, they are not quite within the definition of deserving high rankings by Google.
The result? I refer you back to the first reason- Google changes the algorithm in order to thwart these underhand techniques and false practices. Over the years we have all seen these presented and over time many have fallen by the way side to be replaced by new ways to legitimately obtain the best SEO rankings for your site content. It is a never ending merry-go-round. Everyone is at the mercy and whim of Google.
Not all changes made by Google are about thwarting black hat techniques. Google also attempts to deliver more meaningful results however this sometimes is not necessarily for the good of those who have previously achieved high rankings in search engine. A recent example of how such announced changes have dramatically impacted previously well ranked sites can be seen in this following video by Jim Stewart, a well-respected AustralianSEO consultant in Melbourne.
We must also remember that Google is a commercial enterprise and has as its top priority, maximising the return to its shareholders. There is no doubt that some of the changes made are done in the name of their bottom-line. Google does after all, have a vested interest in promoting commercial clients ahead of non-pay sites.
SEO is a business that requires highly skilled professionals who are keeping on top of the changes and who understand how to possibly respond. Even the experts are sometimes however, left speechless in trying to explain the changes that occur on a regular basis. There are occasions where, because Google maintains such secrecy around its algorithm, there is no reason that can readily explain why legitimate businesses that one day exhibit excellent ranking on a wide range of search terms, overnight suddenly find themselves not appearing at all on those very same terms.
Written by: Greg Tomkins