The words search engine optimisation are having a particular resonance at the moment in the digital marketing industry as one of the major search engines has yet again decided to change the playing field.

Digital marketing, which can be said to encompass the field of search engine optimisation, must be one of the very few industries which has to play a constant guessing game as to what will happen next when it comes to the playing field.

Imagine the internet as one large football pitch, and the search marketing professionals employed to help companies and individuals climb the rankings, as the players. The players know that there is one goal at either end of the field and the aim is to kick the ball into this more times than the opponent to win the game.

Now what would happen if the opposing team (let’s see them as the home team, the search engine who provides the pitch) kept moving the goalposts? So the visiting team would get used to where the goal was situated, learns where the goal is, only to find, that within seconds it has moved.

Pandemonium would break out and following the latest two algorithm updates from Google – quaintly known as Panda and Farmers – that’s how it feels in the digital marketing world. Google changes an algorithm (a rule by which a search is controlled and governed) and suddenly what used to work, no longer does and a large number of websites, including major companies, suddenly find that their online visibilities have been dramatically reduced.

Once a new update has been implemented, search engine optimisation becomes a different ball game altogether.