Google makes on average around 400 changes to its method of indexing and ranking websites every year to provide higher quality results to its users.
The most significant recent change is the increasing emphasis on search results tailored to every individual user, based on what they have searched for before, and their known location.
Google is increasingly focusing on returning local results which increases the importance of an optimised business listing in Google Places (formerly Google maps).
Another major change Google made at the beginning of last year is to index Twitter and Facebook social media sites in near real-time. For certain combinations of words and phrases this displays Tweets and Facebook posts on page one. However once these news items have aged a few hours they gradually disappear from the search results.
Outdated and outmoded SEO techniques that used to work just a year ago can get a business website banned. When employing an SEO expert, a business needs to be convinced that they are fully aware of the latest ethical and legal techniques.
Greg Spence, a search engine specialist in the UK Business Advisors said, “It is important that if companies rely on search engine rankings they take advice from people who keep up to date with the latest Google changes. Things that worked a few years ago can now damage your ranking and completely new actions can have a major positive impact.”