Google’s three latest algorithm updates have set the Internet marketing industry ablaze. Since February of 2011, when Panda was first released, the world’s top search engine has declared war on websites that have “low quality content.” Just as everything was settling down in the SEO world, two new algorithm updates make headlines: Venice and Penguin. Just to review what we’ve learned from Google thus far:

Google Panda: Lowers the SERP rankings of low quality sites, including “content mills” and pages with little content but heavy advertising. Sites that benefit include social network pages and news sites.

Google Venice: An improvement for local content publishing. This update automatically matches locally produced content appropriate for user searches based on the user’s IP address.

Google Penguin: A further refining of Google’s algorithm, based on Panda’s changes, this time further targeting content mills, and higher-grade content mills like article directories. This update specifically targeted “over-optimized” sites, that is sites that excessively linked or keyword stuffed their content.

In light of these new updates, many in the SEO world are now backing away from keyword densities and content-mill style writing, and are instead focusing on blogs. Blogs are usually written with a bit more sophistication, since they are aimed at people and not directories. Directories have always been traffic magnets, but mostly because of web crawlers that seek out keyword requests. The latest filtering technology penalizes websites that go after search engine crawlers or “bots” but fail to converse with actual website surfers.

How does this affect you, the small business owner? Now is the time to take your message online and to refocus your strategy to be read, and not merely to be “found”. It doesn’t matter how much content you produce, if it fails to pass Google’s new “human” filter. That is will bring you traffic and sales in the long-run.