On February 24, 2011, Google announced a "pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking" intended to "provide better rankings for high-quality sites – sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on."
In its Technology overview, Google has been clear about this mission from the outset: "Co-founder Larry Page once described the 'perfect search engine' as something that 'understands exactly what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want.'" Google's guidance for webmasters remains unchanged from when we founded Handshake 2.0 three years ago: "Create a useful, information-rich site."
According to this recent article from the Wall Street Journal, some considered themselves "burned by Google’s recent changes." Traffic has remained strong to Handshake 2.0, but I wanted to see the exact effect of the change. To last year's traffic during the same period, I compared this year's traffic starting from the date of Google's announcement to the present. Here's a screenshot from Google Analytics.
Traffic to Handshake 2.0 has dipped only .20%, holding steady at just under 35,000 visits per year. New visits have increased 13%.
The significant increase in new visits was surprising and exciting to see. The top source of traffic to Handshake 2.0? Google. Clients, freelance content creators, columnists and guests have contributed consistently high quality content to Handshake 2.0 such that people searching from anywhere on the globe – and more new people all the time – are finding exactly what they want on Handshake 2.0.
Handshake 2.0 is a business news site founded to help create virtual handshakes of greeting leading to handshakes on deals. For clients of Handshake 2.0's public relations and business development services, Google's news is good news.