The most recent update coming from Google, the particular update known as the penguin update, is responsible for chaos within the search engine rankings. It seems as though it is really difficult to get any relevant results for some searches. All you need to do is actually have a look at a number of the search engine optimisation authority sites to see this. This update has also managed to make it appear as if Google is trying to completely destroy search engine optimisation. It does nevertheless live however.
What Google has been doing is actually alter how search engine optimisation can be done. Before the most recent update, all that you needed were a lot of hyperlinks which had keywords that you wanted your website to rank for as anchor-text. You could do this this using a myriad of low quality blog networks as well as automatic software and that kind of thing. This is exactly what Google has done away with. They are clamping down on what comes down to link spam. They want to only have top quality hyperlinks pointing to websites. Links that have been built by those who are truly interested in the website, not by someone who is attempting to do SEO for a site.
Which means that the whole face of search engine optimisation has changed. You can't rely on the old methods of link building any longer. Purchasing hyperlinks is not going to enable you to get good rankings anymore. You are going to need to ensure that you get links only from sites which are related to your site and that are great quality authoritative websites. You cannot build huge amounts of links through automated software and spammy comments and this kind of thing anymore. All that will enable you to get is a slap by Google and, in the worst case circumstances, a de-indexing of your website.
Search engine optimisation isn't dead. It has changed significantly however. The biggest change is it is going to become a lot more manual. What this means is a lot more man hours are going to be allocated to your links. you are going to be capable of getting fewer, but higher quality links, for the same contract value. This means that rankings will change less quickly but they ought to, unless Google does another major update, be more steady too.
The long and the sort of it all is the fact that Google has found a way to discount as well as punish sites which are bombarding the web with rubbish articles as well as comments in an effort to get a large number of hyperlinks to their sites. Of course, a lot of innocent bystanders have been caught in the crossfire. Hopefully Google will rectify this in short order through the resubmission requests that individuals have been sending in and perhaps a few manual reviews of the websites that have been de-indexed. In the meantime, make sure that you do search engine optimisation the right way, not the spam way. If you do this, then your site ought to be safe from all the punitive measures which Google is handing out at the moment.

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