Website Usability Eclipses SE Rumor Mill
I’m guessing that, were Nostradamus to write a book called Predicting for Idiots, one of his first guidelines to a budding prophet would be “keep it vague, young apprentice.” The oracle, generally, only kinda tells the future. The second you predict something concrete, you’ve let your mouth write a check that your butt might find itself selling CDs to cover.
So, when you read predictions about which search engine is going to fail, which one’s going to take over the world, which one you should care about, which one you shouldn’t, which algorithm hates complete sentences, which one favors endless blogs about nothing, which one LUVS SPAM, which one’s going to penalize you because you’re running a 25,000-page catalog site managed by a CMS that’s dynamically delivering duplicate content because it’s close to impossible to have unique content on each page of a 25,000-page catalog site, you should think “whatever”.
When you think “whatever,” you should be thinking “whatever” because you know your site is offering a valid and complete user experience. Your site answers visitors’ questions; when it doesn’t, it leads visitors to where they can find that answer. If someone wants to buy your product, they can get to where the transaction occurs quickly and securely. In short, it does the job it’s supposed to do, whether that be entertain, inform, sell, etc. This is what usability is all about, and when you’re site’s usable, traffic and search engine results will follow. The urge to change everything based upon a normal fluctuation in SE position or some expert’s prediction – ignore it. The sky’s not falling.