11th December 2012
What a year for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
From April 2012 we have seen at least 5 major updates from Google’s search engine algorithm, and 20 other major tweaks that have reeked destruction on business owners all over the world. The resulting effect of lost ranking positions has many SEO companies running for cover as angry clients demand answers.
For the first time ever in my 10 years of working in the google framework we are seeing companies being banned by Google for over optimisation, forced content, forced backlinks, falsifying reviews, and many other black hat methods for tricking the search engines into pushing the rankings up. Coupled with that we have seen companies that once dominated a variety of competitive keywords in their different niches, lose position and only dominate one. The question to Google all over the world is WHY??
The websites that were ranking are replaced in most cases by worthless sites with content that is not helpful or very generic. Sadly the experts in the topic are now no longer on front page or only featured on on the “country pages” which are now very difficult to find. This has Googles users very angry as it takes longer to find what they are looking for and makes business owners frustrated as they lose traffic. At Touch Marketing we are focusing our clients on the most important parts of their businesses and putting all effort into these keywords to signal Google what we wish to rank for. This is considerably more work than ever required previously, however it is paying dividends as rankings come back. By the way I am talking about National Keywords and not local searches. Contact Craig to discuss more details if you keyword ranking is poor.
Now if I was a suspicious person I would say that the last update on October 25th was designed to force people into using Google Adwords programme, so Google could boost their bank account and share value, however we are assured by Matt Cutts from Google the algorithm has many nuances to it and manual viewing on top search results is done purely to see how the algorithm is working and not to penalise accounts.
However we have fielded many calls this week from clients wanting Google adwords placed on their accounts to satisfy their demands to be on the front page for strong keywords. So do the math on that globally and you will see Google has been raking in the profits hand over fist.
The backlash against Google across the world is phenomenal and people are asking for the basics to return. Not everybody wants to use Wikipedia to find out information or the numerous other websites that dominate the SERP’s. (Search Engine Results Pages)
Some interesting things have come out of the changes that are worth noting and some common identifiers that clearly show what Google value in 2012 and going forward.
1. Companies with strong social media and good page content seemed to come through the updates with varying degrees of stability.
Why Google put more value on Facebook signals versus their own social media platform is anybodies guess however strong Facebook pages seem to be rescuing businesses along with other strong social signals such as Google Plus, Twitter and so on
2. Video ranking has not been impacted at all so we are focusing clients onto getting us to rank videos on the front page of Google. The thought is that Google won’t spank their own child (in this case Youtube) so videos should stick around
3. Honest genuine websites with no forced backlinks and strong social media signals remain steady in long tailed keywords searches but have lost position in major keywords
SEO companies need to change their approach dramatically if they want their clients to remain ranking well in the SERP’S