The Internet is truly a fascinating place to market a business.It has the potential to reach a massive international market effectively and with great speed. The numbers are astonishing – a billion searches a day on Google, 500 million Facebook users, 190 million Twitter users plus many, many more platforms and websites with incredible amounts of traffic.It is obvious why a business would want to tap into this marketplace.Looking purely at search engine marketing here, there are a number of strategies and techniques which need to be implemented in order to get found in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Other than paying for advertisements (known as pay per click) a very powerful way of gaining the top spots in the organic search results on the left of the Google search results is SEO or search engine optimization.In the US there are now degrees in SEO from many of the Universities/ Colleges.This would be a tricky course to manage though as there are so many changes to programming which are sudden and unannounced that the courses would have to be constantly updated.To add to this difficulty SEO is partly a theoretical science. There are some definite techniques which are well-publicised and which are approved and encouraged by the major search engines. But they do not give the game away. Secrecy is paramount here because of the incredibly competitive and lucrative market.So there is an awful lot of testing and research needed to try to fill in the gaps. SEO experts need to constantly monitor and adjust programs to stay ahead.To show how volatile this arena can be here are a few examples of what can happen even when you are following all of the (undocumented) rules.A year and a half ago Google implemented a major change in the Google algorithm. This change banned all duplicated and affiliate landing pages and websites. Up until this time marketers had been using Pay Per Click to generate some incredible incomes online. Over a period of weeks all marketers who were deemed to violate the new terms were banned.Yes banned… for life!Top marketers who could afford to buy a new Ferrari before the change – suddenly found themselves without the money to buy gas for it!How could Google do this? “I am spending 50,000 dollars a month with you guys – how can you ban me?”Did Google care this amounted to a huge loss of revenue?No way! Google looks only at what it’s core purpose is – to provide it’s customers with the best possible search experience. This means that when their customer types in “best golf clubs” Google wants to direct the searcher to a site that has tons of information about Golf Clubs. The site should also have a large number of links from other sites to do with golf and golf clubs and championships and other associated pages.They don’t want to send the searcher to a page which says “Golf Clubs – Buy into this Get Rich Quick Scheme so YOU can earn a million dollars a month and will have all the time in the world to play golf!”Sound familiar?So the infamous Google Slap changed the marketing industry.Many marketers turned to Social Media and Organic search marketing to replace their lost incomes.And so did the software developers and the creative entrepreneurs. They could sell automated systems to speed up the submission process and create a huge amount of content and websites on autopilot, to effectively “hack” the SERPs.Google doesn’t miss a trick.Earlier in 2010 many SEO companies using dubious methods watched in horror as their clients suddenly plummeted off the front pages and into obscurity!What the…?Again this was a shift in the Google algorithm installed to stop dishonest marketing of businesses. This adjustment to the system had a massive impact on marketing online, so great in fact that the change became known in SEO circles as Florida. Florida – Hurricane – Get it?No forewarning – just implement the change and get on with business!These are two of the major changes but tweaks to the system happen on an almost weekly basis. The changes are not telegraphed or explained. It takes a lot of savvy marketers to get together through the hundreds of blogs which deal with SEO to work out what is going on. Various theories are put forward then eliminated or approved and this is on-going.Currently a change has been made which identifies keywords and businesses which Google has decided would benefit from a local search or Google Places result. They assume that if you would like to buy a product which can be bought in your immediate area this is what you will be looking for – a store which is a short drive away.This is known as QDL or query deserves local. This change has increased substantially the importance of having your business listed in Google Places for the keywords which relate to your products or services. There still seems to be a random nature to which keywords Google has identified for QDL and this will be adjusted no doubt in the months to come.These constant sidesteps by Google show comprehensively how important it is not to be complacent when it comes to marketing a business online.A search engine marketing company may have ten years’ experience but this means zilch if they are not up with the game. Strategies which may have worked last year or even last month may have no impact at all and may in fact be damaging to your online presence.The next time Google unleashes one of it’s infamous moves – be ready to react!