Trying to keep on top of what Google is up to can be very frustrating. For years now our regular monitoring of specific keywords related to our own websites has seen our top rankings move up and down, but generally remain on the first page.
Lately though we have noticed a lot of changes in the top listings. Links are appearing out of nowhere and links being dropped and our own links moving up and down all too quickly. Six months ago the Google index was far more stable than it currently is.
Rankings within Google seem to have become more fluid and dynamic and can literally change from day to day as compared to monthly a few years ago. Probably as close as we can get to insider knowledge about what is happening at Google is Matt Cutts (Matt Cutts joined Google as a software engineer in January 2000 and is currently the head of Google's Webspam team).
His site - www.mattcutts.com - describes what is happening here. In a response to a comment on his blog as far back as January 2007, he gives this answer:
Quoting Matt Cutts: "... I believe that a data refresh, which used to be every 3-4 weeks, is now happening more like every day. So the changes in ranking that some people were seeing on the 17th or 27th during the summer months can now happen every day."
Back links update and PageRank update are also types of data refresh.
However, is the current Google Everflux a more souped-up version of this re-freshing process? Google in fast-forward? Google on speed-dial?
Regardless of the rate of change, Google Everflux is important simply because Google is so important to any site. There's no denying that, whether you love it or hate it, Google will deliver the most search engine traffic to any site that gets top rankings for keywords. The other search engines shouldn't be ignored, but most of your search traffic will come from Google. According to Nielsen Stats in February (2008), Google had around 60 percent (58.7 - 4.5 billion Google search queries) of the traffic on the web (we believe that 60 percent is on the conservative side).
What does this mean to your site or keywords?
Not only should your link building efforts be put into overdrive if you want to get a top listing in Google and keep it there ((quality, relevant links related to your site's focus), but you should also be constantly adding new and updated content.
For years we have recommended that this is what you should be doing, but probably now you will have to work even harder to keep your site ranking in those top positions in Google.
Don’t underestimate the importance of links from the so-called Social Bookmark sites (eg. www.digg.com, www.reddit.com, www.squidoo.com ...) as they represent real people reading and ranking real content. This is what these social media sites are all about, and it seems Google is placing more significant emphasis on these sites. But, remember with Google, nobody knows for sure.
Over time old links you had are being dropped, as Google re-ranks their links and index. The whole fall-out from Google's paid link crackdown is still being played out as we attempt to devise new ways to hype-up links. Google is firing back with new ways to keep its index supposedly honest, an ongoing, chaotic battle that will probably get more turbulent. As new sites and links become important there will be a constant change in the rankings within Google.
Google also seems to be favoring big, resourceful authority sites for the top positions in their SERPs, giving these sites 6 or 7 sub-headings and links - all in the top spot, which means it will be increasingly difficult for the smaller marketer to compete. Although it is probable that large corporations will eventually dominate most major profitable keywords on the web, it will take some time and there are still millions of small niches where small sites can cash in.
It is important, if you count on Google for your search traffic, to keep building quality links and content regularly and don't forget the social bookmark sites... make sure you're building some good links from them.
No matter what warp-speed Google finally decides upon, valuable content is still the key to getting top rankings in any search engine. Adding fresh, valuable relevant content to your site regularly will keep it in the picture.