Recently, I was asked a question about the best way to prepare for the next Google PageRank update. I thought about the question for a while and then came back to the same approach I have had for years. I don’t prepare for Google PR updates. The only reason you would need to prepare for a Google PR update is if you haven’t been diligent with your website or your backlinks prior to the Google PR update. A drop in search rankings should only occur if you have not maintained a great website, or your backlink partners are taking hits to their PR because they haven’t maintained a great website.
The best way to insure that your website is up to date and functioning properly is to consistently check your website. There are a number of free tools that will go through your website and tell you whether your website is working correctly or not. Google Webmaster Tools is a free set of tools that will give you most of the information you need to make strategic decisions about your website. With Google Webmaster Tools you can check for; crawling errors within your website, review the keywords your site is receiving traffic from, sitemap verification, and your relevant keywords.
Once you have determined that your site is functioning properly you need to add the highest quality unique content you can find to your website. Five plus years ago links were important, but the Search Engines were not able to scrutinize the links as quickly as they can today. In the past we were able to acquire a lot more links of lesser quality and still get good credit for the link volume our website could attract. It’s more difficult to rank well in competitive markets with mediocre links, based on the speed the Search Engines can now rip through the Internet and score the websites in the index. The same is true for content, just a couple years ago we were able to add any kind of new content on a regular basis to our websites and we could increase our quality scores, rankings and indexed page volume as a result. Again the speed of the Search Engine index is making it more difficult to add mediocre content.
It’s just like business, early on you can afford a few more mistakes, once you have matured and become a larger force in your market, the competition for your space is going to increase, and you are going to have to work harder to provide enough benefit to stay on top. High quality, unique content is now as important as great link partners. This content is picked up faster by the Search Engines and will boost your website quality, your brand exposure, and most of all your search rankings.