In the world of SEO, we all pay extremely close attention to our clients’ search rankings, especially for Google. We also know that things change all the time, so we must constantly make adjustments to our strategies. However, it’s unwise to make major changes to your approach just because you heard a whisper about a Google algorithm change that could majorly impact some of your clients.

While it’s tempting to chase algorithm updates to get ahead of the crowd and rank high for your search terms, it’s also impossible to do successfully for any significant length of time. Part of this is because by chasing algorithm updates, you’re ignoring the big picture. You may conquer the current algorithm to only find whatever strategy you implemented is no longer valid come the next algorithm update, so your rankings drop again. If you’re lucky, you’re back where you started. At worst, Google penalizes you for the changes you made because they do not provide searchers with any value.

To make chasing algorithm updates even more pointless, Google isn’t up front about any changes they make. Instead, when it comes to algorithm updates, we rely on hearsay with no way of knowing if what other people are saying is based on one blip in their search rankings or a systematic change in the way Google determines search results. This doesn’t look like it will get better in the future, since Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller has told us to stop watching for algorithm changes.

Obviously, it doesn’t make sense to ignore what Google is doing simply because the company’s Webmaster Trends Analyst says to act naturally because there’s nothing to see. Regardless of what Google says, we will still read websites that track SEO news because tracking Google’s algorithm changes is what we do in conjunction with optimizing our clients’ sites. However, Google’s history and attitude towards the SEO industry reminds us of the importance of good SEO, which takes hard work and doesn’t rely on gimmicks and tricks.