Ok, so it’s not just trying to keep up with Google, it’s keeping up with the entire Web. That includes search engines, social media, today’s trends, the newest applications, and within all of that, trying to figure out how it all applies to you. In this ever-changing digital landscape, it can be difficult to pick through all of it. After four years of actively running everyday to keep up, here are just a few things I’ve learned:
Start Following & Subscribing
I get most of my Google updates from Google’s own Matt Cutts, world news from my favorite media outlets, and my SEO updates from Moz, Mashable, Search Engine Land and plenty of others. I am all over Twitter, Facebook and industry sites everyday, and everything I find relevant I save and decide what to read more in depth later.
Don’t Get Caught Up in the Details
Google is updating all the time. It’s impossible to know every single update they make, mostly because they don’t even report all of them. Instead it’s important to look at the big picture of what Google and most importantly, its users are looking for. And that is quality. As long as you are always producing relevant, unique, share-worthy content that is optimized, you will be fine. If you’re out trying to buy links (I sure hope not), doing anything spammy, or any “trickery” then you probably should be worried. But as long as your focus stays on quality you will survive the updates.
Highlight What’s Important
Highlight common themes in the updates, like speed, mobile-responsiveness, schema markups, etc. If you keep seeing it everywhere, that probably means you should pay attention.
Don’t Ignore the Technical Stuff
Just because you don’t do anything with code that doesn’t mean it is not important. The structure of a website is just as important as the content you are sharing. Make sure to use Google Webmaster and other developer tools and take note of the improvements that they are recommending.
Don’t Freak Out When Something Changes
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve logged into a Google account or a social media advertising platform and the whole thing has changed. It’s important to always be ready to adapt and more importantly not to ignore your account notifications. Most of the time account notifications will not only pre-warn you of updates, but also teach you more about them. Even if there wasn’t a notification provided, don’t worry Google has great help forums and on-going training for products like Google Analytics.
Remember that in order to stay competitive, you must stay relevant. Although keeping up with the changes can be a full-time job in itself, I’ve found that making it a priority to consistently read new articles helps to organize the chaos. Because let’s be real, not acknowledging change is just plain nonsense!