Addressing Five Major Concerns in SEO
SEO is a tricky area to invest in for most businesses. There are on-going strategies and tactics that continue to evolve with the constant updates and changes to Google’s algorithm. While the changes are for the greater good and improves web users ability to search information much more easily on the web, the changes that have occurred have changed and impacted the methods that have been used historically by websites to allow them to be found on Google.
For new websites, it is becoming more difficult to rank, content has a stronger emphasis and Google is taking action on links that are considered to be unnatural.
Any credible SEO agency will realise the current changes in the SEO space and will advise their clients on the current concerns within the industry that should be addressed and managed well with an SEO strategy. Five of these concerns are listed below.
1. The desire for rankings fuels link spam
This has been the biggest issue for Google. The great thing about their platform is providing relevant search results for the web user. This brings a lot of traffic and sales potential with organic search listings. Google seeks to make the web more organised, however the desire for page one rankings on Google has seen many websites resort to link spam techniques that has proven to improve a website’s SEO performance, but the sites do not add any value to the web. Google has taken drastic action by issuing manual link penalties, the launch of the Disavow tool and on-going updates with the Penguin algorithm. While Google has been able to cut down on the amount of link spam plaguing the web including:
- Web forum spam
- Social bookmarking spam
- Guest blog posts
- Article syndication
- PR syndication
- Blog comment spam
Google is still having difficulty dealing with private blog networks (PBNs) that are manipulating the search results.
2. The desire for rankings fuel content spam
There has been a continuing increase in the rise of content spam. SEOs tell clients to develop on-going content, however the execution of the strategy usually resulted in poor quality content being developed and would only serve search engines and not web users. Google took action with the launch of the Panda, Phantom, Hummingbird and Pigeon algorithm updates to reward websites that provided users with a good experience through content increased visibility on Google’s search results.
3. Brand vs. non-brand advantages
SEOs have been voicing their concern with Google favouring established brands over other web merchants. Many have seen this as a shift towards digital PR and the need for web businesses to expand their web presence by earning citations of their business through links, digital publications and web advertising initiatives. Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt has voiced the relevancy of brands in organic search results. Web businesses will need to enforce web brand building initiatives to build their SEO success over the long term.
4. SEO ranking guarantees are a thing of the past
Due to the significant changes in Google’s algorithm, it isn’t possible for agencies to guarantee position one or even page one rankings as they would in the past. Google’s algorithm has become more complex when it comes to ranking keywords.
5. The pay on performance model in SEO is redundant
Every SEO customer wants to pay on a performance model or to receive some type of guarantee. The trouble is with Google’s current algorithm is that there are no guarantee that can be made. The work can be done by the SEO company to influence your long term rankings, but in the end, it is Google who decides where the website’s position will be. This has led to many false promises within the industry with businesses expecting an immediate improvement in rankings. They pour all of their money into one basket and then are left disappointed once they have not received the results that they expected. Despite Google being clear on this in their Webmaster guidelines, there are still countless stories of businesses getting burned by SEO cowboys in the industry.
With these concerns in mind, businesses need to think smart and approach SEO as a brand and lead generation exercise. Seek to develop the content that encourages people to talk and share their experiences with your business online, and Google will reward you with added visibility. Your SEO agency should be your partner with developing your digital PR and SEO activities that will see your traffic and leads increase over the long term.