The Google Dance is a term used to describe what search engine numbers and analytics do when google updates their search algorithm. Google’s search algorithm is the mechanism that Google uses to determine website rankings based on different factors about those websites. We have actually talked about Google’s search algorithm in the past in our SEO explainer article.
You see, no one actually knows the exact details of the algorithm and how it truly values and ranks certain aspects of websites. It is a SEO experts job to make educated guesses about what the algorithm values based on A/B testing and other types of research. The idea of SEO is to be very knowledgeable about how Google ranks their websites but no one holds the one true key to everything about the algorithm. One of the reasons no one knows exactly how the algorithm works is because Google changes it up every so often. They add value to new factors, take away value from certain factors, make big updates, make little updates, among many other things. Google also doesn’t typically share with the public what the exact changes are.
When there is an algorithm update, the rankings and numbers for websites get a little bit crazy and spike up and down for a periodic amount of time while everything readjusts to changes in the algorithm. AKA the Google dance. These spikes and dips can be big, small, long, and short. In the first few weeks of January we have actually noticed a little bit of Google dance happening on our sites and we thought there might be a possibility that Google updated their algorithm sometime in the early new year. We also figured now would be a great time to write a post about it.
Knowing that Google regularly updates their search algorithm is valuable knowledge from both a marketer and customer standpoint. As a customer, you should be wary of marketers or businesses that will try to sell you on get high rankings quick or guaranteeing first page search results. As we stated above, no one holds the key to unlocking Google’s search result secrets and anyone guaranteeing they can get specific results are likely not sincere.
From a marketers point of view it is important to know that Google updates their algorithm so you can be honest with your customers about what they can expect and what results you can bring to them. No one Google update will bring a marketing agency crashing down, but it is good to be aware of these updates in case adjustments need to be made.
The basics of what marketers and customers alike need to know is straightforward. Google will change their algorithm regularly. Some may see large jumps in their sites and others might see declines. If you are building your site the right way and consistently making improvements then these numbers will always stabilize over time. Picture it like a line chart. Over time there will be natural spikes and dips but the overall direction of the line will be upward if you are doing the right things.
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