What does Google have in common with a virus? Evolution. Often within weeks or months of the introduction of a new vaccine to destroy a virus, a drug resistant version emerges. This is because the periodic mutations continue to throw out new versions of vaccines that cancel out all of the hard work and research that goes into the development of a new drug. In the continuing fit to understand the nature of viruses, it is not unheard of that years of work are cancelled out in weeks by a new strain. In the world of a virus evolution only takes weeks.
Google is evolving on steroids
Compare this to the evolution of Google. In the past 2 years Google has undergone over 1,000 updates. Most of these updates have been minor but there is still a significant amount that has been major. Like those researches trying to keep one step ahead of viruses, humble website developers and SEO specialists struggle to keep pace with this evolution. Forums are full of programmers and SEO specialists trying to make sense of the latest updates that Google has made to its algorithms.
The biological imperative of the virus is survival in an ever-changing world. Oddly enough, this is the same imperative that drives Google’s continual evolution but this is where the similarities end. Unlike the virus, Google is motivated by much more than survival. Google is striving to develop a search algorithm that is driven by the desires and needs of web users. It is employing such techniques as ‘machine learning’ in the quest to deliver a search algorithm that will ultimately drive website development that is more inline with the needs of web users.
How does Google’s evolution impact on your website?
This focus has a profound impact on web development. Those who have websites need to stop thinking of them as inanimate objects and start to see them as living, breathing creatures. Websites need to continue to evolve to reflect new technology for engagement and changing expectations of users. Fresh content is the ‘animism’ of a website. Without it, websites organic search profiles wither and die.
To those who have resisted change, those who are clinging to their antiquated views of the web, it’s time to face reality. The world of the web has evolved and will continue to evolve. Web users habits and expectations have evolved. The message from Google (and web users) is simple. When it comes to your website, you have a stark choice to make. You need to choose to ‘evolve or die’.