Google makes over 400 small changes to its search algorithm per year, on average, so why is the Search community all abuzz with the recent Mayday update? Simply, it seems, because many of them have seen their rankings suffer, especially when it comes to the ‘long-tail’ results we were talking about only last week.

As ever, Google is striving to make a better user experience: it seems that the losses will largely be felt by gargantuan e-commerce sites with thousands of automatically-generated pages and little content. Ultimately, that’s got to be good for the consumer – and good for you, the small business.

Matt Cutts, increasingly the voice of Google, especially when it comes to addressing concerned webmasters, toes the party line (as you can see in the video below): concentrate not on your rankings, but on being the authority for that product (or service, or topic). Add great content, that’s all you have to do. Admittedly, for a party line, it’s a pretty good one.

Vanessa Fox on Search Engine Land has some practical tips for those wishing to find out if the Mayday update has affected their sites for the better or worse – and what to do about it if it’s the latter.

It’s quite labor-intensive though, so if this is new ground for you, or you simply don’t have the time, we would be very happy to take it on for you. Just drop us a line.

Now here’s that video.