Google Algorithm Changes – more accurately indexing long tail keywords

Written by: Heidi Miller   Austin, Texas

Posted on: October 20, 2010


SEO developers are always on the defensive when it comes to Google algorithm changes. Keyword diversity and quality backlink development usually ensures consistent rankings increases but occasionally, a major algorithm change may result in a temporary downturn in traffic.


About two months ago, Google updated their algorithm to more precisely measure strings of keywords three or more words long. Keywords of this length are referred to as long tail keywords. Now that sufficient time has passed since the update, we are able to see how it is impacting SEO campaigns. But first, a little background on the change:


As always, the exact details of any Google algorithm change are unknown. However, it can be gathered that Google’s previous method relied heavily on guess work when determining which sites to promote for long tail keywords. Now apparently, Google has the raw computing power and infrastructure to precisely record and index longer keyword strings.


I know, all that matters is, “How is this going to impact my SEO campaign?” Well, it depends on the foresight and ingenuity of your SEO team. And obviously, it also depends on whether or not your campaign features many long tail keywords. SEO developers that have focused energy on highly targeted long tail keywords will now be more fairly rewarded. Conversely, shortsighted or lazy SEO developers who have built an entire campaign from a few short keyword variations may find their rankings drop for related, but longer keyword strings.


Going forward, this change should benefit everyone. Google users will receive more accurate search results and SEO companies will be able to more precisely target long tail keywords.


Since this algorithm change, Google has released another major search index update. They are calling this release ‘Caffeine’ and they promise 50% ‘fresher’ search results. Meaning, they are able to index and return new website content 50% faster than before.


More on this soon.


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