There’s something quite important that I’ve learnt since I started working here: SEO is an ever changing game.

Marketing to the search engines isn’t as straight forward as getting links and pointing them at a website. What works and what doesn’t is always changing, keeping online marketers always on their toes.

Take the recent Google “Penguin” update, for instance. This, and its later 1.1 refresh, has been part of 4 huge updates that Google have confirmed just since I started working in SEO between February and now – but there may have been more that we don’t even know about. Also included in these updates were refreshes to the “Panda” update from last year.

Each one of these updates slightly changes what it is the online marketers have to do to rate a site higher, and this is only once they’ve figured out what effect the update is having to begin with.

The first step to moving a website back up the search results after it’s been knocked down by one of these updates is establishing which update brought the hit. It could be Penguin, Panda or a mysterious unknown update Google didn’t even announce.

It’s confusing stuff, especially with the updates that Google keeps quiet about. Keeping on top of these updates and how it could affect a sites ranking is half the SEO game on its own, especially when currently good practices of link building could switch suddenly into a negative.

When Google wants to change something, they will. All the rest of us can do is try to keep up to date, keep on top of Google’s guidelines and cross our fingers that our site won’t be messed about by the next change.