SEO is a potentially lucrative marketing solution. Get your site visible in the search engines for the right keywords, get your site shipshape and you really can generate an incredibly healthy revenue stream.
It’s common for SEO to become the main revenue generator for a business. When this happens, it’s good news for the SEO agency, which now has confirmation that the campaign is a success. But there’s an element of precariousness about getting into a situation where you rely on Google (and the other search engines) for the success of your business. After all, Google is a third party. If the search engine closed down tomorrow, where would you get your business from?
Of course, it’s highly unlikely that Google will shut up shop tomorrow. Let’s face it… the search giant isn’t exactly struggling, is it? What is feasible, however, is that the search engine could make a change to its algorithm that affects where you rank for your target keywords, thus how much traffic you get and ultimately how much revenue you generate.
Google Algorithm Changes
Google makes more than 400 changes to its algorithm every single year. It only ever announces the biggest. Most recently, that was the update dubbed ‘Panda,’ which rolled out in the USA in February and across all English speaking nations in April. We wrote about the Panda Update some time ago. Essentially, it’s geared towards rewarding fresh, unique and original content.
While this was great news for some sites, others did not fare so well. You can find out who the winners and losers were over at Searchmetrics.
Panda 2.2 is rolling out as I write. This is an update designed to ‘perfect’ the algorithm following complaints from webmasters that some sites who simply scrape and reproduce content were still outranking other sites which produce original content.
The algorithm changes of the last 18 months have been geared towards improving search results for users, thus making the algorithm less easy to manipulate (albeit it remains far from perfect).
Methods of acquiring links that worked a few years ago no longer work as well as they did. Cheap, spammy paid links on mass link networks are not good practice and the more savvy the search engines get, the less benefit and more risk these sort of links are to your campaign.
A Future Proof SEO Campaign?
So we know Google changes its algorithm all the time. As such, we, as a Digital Marketing Agency, feel it our job to know what’s coming, to know how it will affect our clients and to ensure their campaigns are run sustainably.
Nobody can ever know for certain what is coming in the search engines. The algorithm is not public. But we do know one thing for certain: Google’s goal is to return the highest quality and most relevant results for users for whichever keywords they enter.
We also know that the algorithm is getting more complex and more capable of determining a ‘quality’ site based on its content, its backlinks, the speed at which it loads and how users on the wider web interact with it.
So what does this mean for SEO?
Well, it means SEO isn’t just about stuffing keywords into paragraphs and buying cheap links. It means that it’s about acquiring links in a multitude of different ways, obtaining links through their editorial value, producing high quality content, a fast and user friendly website and building a brand online. It means being open about who you are, displaying your physical premises (Google Places really is great!) and building up trust online.
This is a policy we have employed at Tecmark for well over a year and as a result of that, the more recent updates have been positive for our clients. But we certainly don’t take that for granted and we never stop researching ‘what might happen.’