For SEO professionals or webmasters, there’s nothing worse than a Google Penalty resulting from an algorithm update. There’s hardly anything you can do when you find your website slipping from the top ranks to the absolute bottom of the SERP. It’s like getting thrown out of a party where you were the center of attention to a dark and empty street, having no idea what hit you and how to get back.
Ok, enough with the dramatization, but the general opinion about the recent flurry of Google updates is negative to the extent that I know some SEO professionals who are planning to change careers because they have dejected with the big “G” aggressive crackdown on various SEO practices.
True that a Google penalty can be devastating for those who get stuck, and these are the guys you will find ranting out on various blogs and forums. But that is just one side of the coin. Truth is, for each ranking lost as a result of the Google update (a website that goes down), there is a rank gained (a website that takes its place). To make a long story short, Google updates have thrown down some new challenges for SEO community and with each new challenge, there comes a new opportunity.
Let’s take a look at some of these opportunities and advantages coming out of Google updates for SEO.
The more difficult and complicated SE optimization becomes; the more online businesses will feel the need for hiring experts. There are hundreds of on-page and off-page factors that might affect the rankings of a website. Even if a website produces world-beating content or provides exceptional services, it will still need to invest in optimization by following certain guidelines relating to on-site optimization, build some links, and make their presence felt at social media. Thanks to these updates, businesses will now realize the importance of a dedicated professional or an entire team to look after the Internet Marketing.
Contrary to the popular belief (i.e. SEO will be a thing of past), these updates will actually prove that SEO is not dead. All you need to do is to pay a quick visit to some of those webmaster forums or blogs, and you will see that SEO community is booming. In fact, there’ll be no need for all these penalties and algorithm tweaks if SEO was a non-entity.
I know many SEO professionals who continue employing spammy tactics for their clients’ websites while knowing that they can backfire. Problem is, they’ve tried conveying their concerns to the clients but sometimes it can be tough to convince the clients to have some patience. After the algorithm tweaks and Google targeting content farms, websites with thin content, and the likes, it is easier for the SEO professionals to talk their clients into going for long term investments instead of short term gains.
Real professionals are often aware of an impending update even before Google launches it (by staying updated and interacting with the experts). They can start to take preventive measures by cutting down on certain link building or marketing practices. Not that they will always escape unscathed, still they are far better than the part-timers who can do irreparable damage to the website because of their incompetence and lack of knowledge. Businesses that are looking to get SEO services at dirt-cheap rates often fall for these guys, and their black hat tactics seem to be working (much to the dismay of real SEO professionals) until Google clean-up.
Every time Google targets a certain method, say “link building via article directories”, it affects a lot of people who were getting paid to write these articles and submitting to hundreds of article directories. However, there are many new opportunities that will arise from these updates, it’s only that you need to be on top of your game to discover these openings and make the most of it.
Dong Wong is a veteran SEO and Internet Marketing professional. He blogs for SEOPrix.com, a New York based SEO and Search marketing firm.