Lost rankings? Musings on Google's latest antics and what they won't tell you

If you're in the web design industry, then you'll probably spend a lot of time gazing at your traffic statistics and trying to figure out how to push them up higher.

But of course, Google is extremely secretive about what it's up to, and rarely gives a straight answer. Which makes SEO a huge challenge.

This is not necessarily a bad thing - as there are plenty of people out there who are just trying to game the system, and will focus on box-checking, rather than trying to provide good quality content.

However, it can lead to a lot of sleepless nights and frustration for those of us who feel like we are doing everything right, but are still being tossed about like a dinghy in the Google storm.

With the algorithm changing so quickly and web designers trying to respond as swiftly as possible, it could simply be that the ground if shifting underneath you and you're getting overtaken because of what you're NOT doing.

Here are a couple of things that Google won't tell you, but we think will help your rankings, or harm them if you're not doing them:

Joining Google+

Google really want to get Google+ going. We've seen websites leap up several pages once they become linked to a Google+ profile. Having a Google+profile also means you can have a picture of your pretty face, or your company logo, accompanying your listing. As we know - images entice clicks. I'm sure if asked Google will deny that joining Google+ will have any more of an effect athn any other link, but... y'know.

Having some Google Adwords campaigns going

Exactly the same as with Google+, we believe we've seen some (unsubstantiated) evidence that having a Google Adwords account will have a positive affect on your natural listings as well as the actual paid clicks you receive. You can always set it up to be a minimal amount so it doesn't bankrupt you in the process.

In conclusion

So, in summary our conclusion is that we'd all better start dancing the Google dance. In many ways, Google is an incredible organisation that has provided us with some amazing products and innovations. Does this mean it's good that it essentially has the power of life and death over small businesses? Can't say we think so. However, as a small business, it's time to put on the tap shoes.