SEO Works Just Fine If You Up Your Game

Do a search for “how to become a pro basketball player,” and you’ll get endless advice. Stay in the game for many years, hone your skills by training, work hard, and understand the commitment you need to succeed.

Being an SEO is no different. In fact, almost every piece of advice in this video clip on how to be a pro athlete can be applied to how to succeed in SEO.

The only difference is SEOs can’t know all the rules of the game because Google keeps changing them. Imagine a basketball player having to figure out the new rules every time they got the ball and still being able to perform well.

SEO works just fine if you up your game with basketball player.

We are under what seems to be a flood of frequent algorithm changes. Google made more than 3,200 changes to Search (including algorithm changes and more) in 2018 alone. Then, in 2019, we saw some pretty significant algorithm updates, too.

Our website rankings can jump up and down like puppets, and Google is the puppeteer. With the many updates, plenty of published research shows the winners and losers and the volatility of them all.

But I know something is different by the number of calls coming to our agency from desperate people whose businesses have been harmed by search traffic losses.

Right now, we’re up against a new kind of “Google dance” where even the best websites’ organic results are uncertain. This new Google dance forces us all to up our game and not just sit and hope for the best. Businesses are at stake.

So what do you do? Take a page out of an athlete’s playbook and do what it takes to get to the top of your game.


  • Study what Google says and what it doesn’t say about its algorithm. Follow Googlers like John Mueller, Gary Illyes, and Danny Sullivan, and YouTube channels like Google Webmasters.
  • Research the confirmed and unconfirmed algorithm updates, and read what experts are saying about them. Then, how are they impacting your sites?
  • Find SEO case studies of similar sites or industries to get a sense of what’s working.
  • Read articles and insights from other SEOs by reading or subscribing to sites like ours, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal and so on.


  • Take SEO training even if you consider yourself an expert. Everyone needs refreshers to improve their skills.
  • Attend conferences — there are hundreds of digital marketing conferences every year to choose from.
  • Do SEO drills and experiment with proven SEO strategies to see what’s working in a live environment.


  • Work hard and take your SEO career seriously. You can’t do SEO halfway and succeed.
  • As an SEO professional, you have the power to make or break businesses online. You need to live and breathe SEO, and put in the time to be your best.

The bottom line: In the search competition where there can be only one winner, SEOs must stay at the top of their game. Otherwise, they sit on the sidelines while others get the glory.

My recommendation: check out our classroom SEO training course.

FAQ: How do algorithm updates impact SEO success?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is integral to online success for businesses. SEO is a highly dynamic field that constantly adapts to algorithm changes from search engines, so understanding their effects on SEO success is of utmost importance for any online venture. This blog explores the intricate relationship between algorithm updates and SEO success while offering helpful insights and tips to assist with this complex journey.

The Dynamics of Algorithm Updates

Search engines like Google regularly update their algorithms to enhance the user experience and produce more precise results. These updates can affect how websites are ranked, consequently impacting SEO success. To stay ahead, SEO professionals must stay informed about these changes.

Adaptation is Key

Algorithm updates often target specific aspects of SEO, such as content quality, mobile-friendliness, or user experience. Businesses need to adapt their strategies accordingly. Conduct regular SEO audits to identify areas needing improvement in light of algorithm changes.

Content Quality Matters

High-quality, relevant content remains at the core of SEO success. Algorithm updates prioritize valuable and informative content. Make sure your content is current, researched, and beneficial to your target audience.

Mobile Optimization

Mobile-friendliness is a critical factor in SEO success. As algorithms increasingly prioritize mobile optimization, ensure your website is responsive and offers a seamless experience on smartphones and tablets.

User Experience Optimization

A positive user experience is paramount. Search engine algorithms closely monitor page load speed, site navigation, and user engagement. Focus on optimizing these aspects to improve your SEO ranking.

Algorithm updates are a double-edged sword in the world of SEO. While they can pose challenges, they also present opportunities for those who are willing to adapt. Being informed, auditing your SEO strategies regularly, and prioritizing quality content creation, mobile optimization, and user experience will help your organization weather algorithm changes more successfully.

Step-by-Step Procedure:

  1. Stay Informed: Regularly monitor industry news and search engine announcements to stay updated on algorithm changes.
  2. Conduct SEO Audits: Periodically review your website’s SEO performance to identify areas for improvement.
  3. Prioritize Content Quality: Ensure your content is well-researched, relevant, and valuable to your audience.
  4. Mobile Optimization: Make your website mobile-friendly to meet the demands of algorithm updates.
  5. User Experience Enhancement: Improve SEO by focusing on page load speed, site navigation, and user engagement.
  6. Adapt Your Strategy: Modify your SEO strategy based on the specific changes introduced in algorithm updates.
  7. Keyword Research: Continuously refine your keyword strategy to align with evolving search trends.
  8. Schema Markup: Implement schema markup to enhance the visibility of your content in search results.
  9. Monitor Competitors: Monitor your competitors’ SEO efforts to identify new trends and opportunities.
  10. Content Updates: Regularly update and refresh your existing content to maintain its relevance.
  11. Backlink Analysis: Review your backlink profile and disavow low-quality or spammy links.
  12. Local SEO: Optimize your website for local searches if applicable to your business.
  13. Technical SEO: Address technical issues like broken links, duplicate content, and XML sitemaps.
  14. Social Signals: Leverage social media to amplify your content and engage your audience.
  15. Analyze Data: Use analytics tools to track your SEO performance and make data-driven decisions.
  16. User Feedback: Listen to user feedback and improve based on their suggestions.
  17. Security Measures: Protect your website with HTTPS and protect against cybersecurity threats.
  18. Voice Search Optimization: Consider optimizing for voice search as it becomes more prevalent.
  19. International SEO: Expand your reach by optimizing for international audiences.
  20. Continuous Learning: Stay updated with SEO trends and best practices to remain competitive in the evolving digital landscape.

Bruce Clay is founder and president of Bruce Clay Inc., a global digital marketing firm providing search engine optimization, pay-per-click, social media marketing, SEO-friendly web architecture, and SEO tools and education. Connect with him on LinkedIn or through the website.

See Bruce's author page for links to connect on social media.

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10 Replies to “SEO Works Just Fine If You Up Your Game”

I would like to find some books on SEO for beginners.
I just started a site for my small business in the hospitality sector. But site traffic could be better and I hope will be helpful.

Robert Stefanski

Hi Okonkwo,

We recommend reading Bruce’s book “Search Engine Optimization All-In-One For Dummies.” A fourth edition is currently is progress. This reference guide breaks down SEO into manageable chunks.

You may also want to check out our free SEO Guide: It covers basic SEO topics and provides some free helpful tools.

Hope this helps!

If only I can know half of what Bruce Clay knows.

Very true. SEO is forever. Google regularly tweaks its algorithm. They do what is best for the users. Hence we as SEO professionals must focus on gaining more knowledge and insights from reliable sources. I think it is important to have a never give up attitude when you are doing SEO for any brand.

SEO Needs some time and strategies. Thanks for sharing this helpful blog with us.

Such a great piece of information that will help a blogger to grow their business and rank on the web page.Thanks for posting

Thank you very much because in this article I have got the information that I want to take.

Such a great piece of information that will help a blogger to grow their business and rank on the 1st page of Google. Thanks for this useful post.

Subscribed to Bruce Clay. Do you suggest any books for beginners? So far we are just puppets. We are yet to show in page 1 we just keep switching between 4 -7. Hope to be in Page 1 soon following expert advice including bruce clay. Thanks.

Internal and external linking play a role too ;-)


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