Picture this. Late at night, the SEO consultancy executives burning the midnight oil, quickly checking their clients search rankings, and low and behold, one site can’t be found where it used to be.

A panic ensues which is unique to the SEO consultancy environment and which strikes fear to all industry executives. Key words are repeatedly tapped into Google and previous rankings are gone. It might represent years of work down the drain, of carefully tuned strategies which has seen a site – justifiably, we’re talking legitimate SEO methods here – reach a rank on page one which culminates in slapped backs and a wide smile.

Then, in a matter of seconds; nothing. Oblivion. Less than the Sahara desert on a very hot day.

The ‘Algorithm Change’ can be a horrific period when grown men and women can weep into their executive toys, and wonder if life is worth living afterall.

To explain to the uninitiated. Algorithms are basically rules (complex mathematical formulae), which says that the Google index has to be worked in a certain way. It works out why does one site selling water features might out rank another site selling water features. These algorithms are the nuts and bolts of any search engine index and its development by Google has earnt them a fortune.

But Google guard these formulae with their lives, otherwise everyone would know how to ‘dictate’ an index listing and it would turn into chaos.

Also, Google reserve the right to change their algorithms and will, suddenly, rewrite a rule which means that whilst a site enjoyed a hitherto high ranking, it suddenly drops, through no fault of its own.

So when the SEO consultancy teams hear of an impending algorithm change, there is a sense of dread; much like waiting for a vicious hurricane to reach land. Hold onto your hats.