Like any professional marketer, I monitor my numerous keywords on a daily basis - especially my major targeted keyword phrases that bring in the most sales and subscribers. For years now, I have had top rankings in Google for my chosen phrases; they move up and down, but mostly they don't leave the first page.However, lately I have been noticing a lot of jumping in the top listings. Links out of nowhere are appearing, links being dropped and my own links moving up and down much too quickly for my comfort. Even six months ago the Google main index seemed to be a whole lot more stable than it is now.
Within the past months, rankings within Google have become more dynamic, more fluid. They can change from day to day, what some people are calling Google Everflux. This is very similar to the old Google Dance we used to have a few years ago...when Google would update or refresh its index about once a month. Now Google is stepping out on that dance floor every day.
Once upon a time, your keyword rankings in Google didn't change that much. Every four or five months Google would do major updates where your keywords and your site's PageRank could have a major jump or fall in Google's index. But have things changed? Has the whole ranking process now been speeded up? Has the Google Index now become more fluid, more dynamic, changeable daily? Updating, fluctuating on the fly?
Inquiring minds want to know...
Keep in mind, Google Everflux is not a new term. As far back as July 2002 there are references in Webmasterworld to the Google Freshbot and Google Everflux. This term referred to the re-freshing of the Google Index.
Unlike many SEO theories and assumptions, the Google Everflux is the Real McCoy. That is if you can believe the Google Guy, and there's no reason not to take Matt Cutts at his word.
Quoting Matt Cutts: "...I'm not trying to side-step the issue. 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."
Even more telling was Matt's response to another person's summary of these changes within Google.
Senaia said: "So the Index Update is what people use to call Google Dance, when it was on monthly basis. Now it's on daily basis and they call it Everflux.
Backlinks update and Pagerank update are also types of data refresh.
So, the big scary updates like Florida... are Algorithm updates?"
Matt Cutts said: "Senaia, that's not a bad summary. Florida and Jagger were changes in our algorithms to score documents, for example."
However, is the current Google Everflux a more souped-up version of this re-freshing process? Google in fast-forward? On speed-dial?
Regardless of the rate of change, Google Everflux is important simply because Google is so important to any webmaster or site. There's no denying that, whether you love it or hate it, Google will deliver the most search engine traffic to any webmaster who gets top rankings for his/her 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.
But 60 percent is not the true percentage; from close examination of my different sites' traffic logs I know Google gives me around 90 percent of my search traffic. Maybe I am over optimized for Google, but even when I manage on rare occasions to get number one rankings in all three search engines for a minor keyword, Google is still the one sending the most traffic.
Since this search traffic is extremely important to my livelihood, I keep a close watch on my major keywords in Google. Movement up or down just a few places means an íncrease or decrease in my traffic. Google has changed. It is not the same search engine it was 6 months ago. Not by a long shot.
What does this mean to your site or keywords?
It probably means you have to put your link building efforts into overdrive if you want to get a top listing in Google and keep it there. It will probably mean that you have to be constantly creating valuable content and quality-relevant links related to your site's topic in order to remain competitive.
This is what you should be doing in the first place, but now you will have to work harder to keep your links in those top positions in Google. At least this has been my experience lately.
One thing I have noticed with my keyword rankings, links from the so-called Social Bookmark sites (Digg, Reddit, Squidoo...) have become very important to Google. Real people reading and ranking real content. This is what these social media sites are all about, and it seems Google is placing more emphasis on these sites.
I say "seems" because with Google, nobody knows for sure. However, I can see in my daily monitoring of my own keywords - Google Everflux is real and is probably here to stay.
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 webmasters scramble to devise new ways to juice-up their links. Google is firing back with new ways to keep its index supposedly honest, an ongoing, turbulent 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 much harder for the smaller marketer to compete. Of course, it is only a matter of time before big, large corporations completely dominate all the major profitable keywords on the web, in Google and elsewhere. Once big business figures out what's going on and realizes just what keyword control in their industry will give them.
That may be a little extreme, but like any valuable resource, it won't be long before multi-national corporate giants eat up the little guys/sites via keyword branding and dominance. It will take some time, and since there are millions of small niches there is still some marketing room for small sites to cash in. But our days of glory are numbered...
For now, if you count on Google for your search traffic, keep building quality links/content daily and don't forget the all important social bookmark sites... make sure you're building some good links from them. One simple solution that has given me hundreds of social bookmark links in the past year is simply adding the free AddThis.com button on my sites. Just let your visitors bookmark and build links for you in these social media sites.
Keep a blog or blogs and tie in your site with links and trackbacks. And make sure you tie/connect your site to the whole blogosphere. Don't forget to add video/audio to your site, as those formats will play an ever-increasing role on the web.
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 sites each day will keep them in the picture.
If that doesn't work, you can always take up speed car racing - I heard it is supposed to be very calming on the nerves. And I bet you one backrub none of them will have ever heard of Google Everflux.
About The Author
The author is now a full-time web marketer who regularly sells 1000's of dollars worth of affiliate products/ services each day. He owns and runs numerous websites, including two sites on Internet marketing.
2008 Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.