Google’s last algorithm update (penguin) has a lot of businesses scrambling tofigure out what they did wrong to lose their rankings. Google awards websites that have original, fresh content, solid incoming links and referrals and social media activity. This is referred to as “white hat SEO”. Websites that try and gain popularity using techniques other than generating fresh content and engaging social content run the risk of losing what authority they do have.
In the words of Matt Cutts “The opposite of “white hat” SEO is something called “black hat webspam” (we say “webspam” to distinguish it from email spam). In the pursuit of higher rankings or traffic, a few sites use techniques that don’t benefit users, where the intent is to look for shortcuts or loopholes that would rank pages higher than they deserve to be ranked. We see all sorts of webspam techniques every day, from keyword stuffing to link schemes that attempt to propel sites higher in rankings”.
In the event your website was affected by the update, I would recommend you have an SEO professional to do a thorough audit on your website in order to check all of your on and off page SEO which should analyze your back links, internal hyperlinks and meta data etc etc. Make sure that the company can show you samples of the work they have done and sites that have withstood the test of time with good rankings.
The moral to the “Google Algorithm update disaster story” is to always monitor your websites analytics, and the activity of anyone you hire to build your page rank.