Google, guest blogging, links and the furore…over the last two to three months, a wind of change has begun to blow through the SEO spheres online. It seems hardly likely that those who earn money by delivering SEO services would turn their backs on the very service that helps to earn a crust and prove their worth. BUT…this is happening. SEO providers that realize it’s time to change are thinking beyond Google. (What choice do they have?)
There is a reason for this: the penalties being dished out by Google for `crimes’ such as over-optimization and perceived spammy, paid for and deceitful outbound or inbound links can bring a website and the business behind it to the brink of collapse. Imagine if your website traffic plummeted to almost zero overnight. No SERPs, no visitors, no enquiries, no sales. And all because Google has moved the goalposts or assessed your site poorly and applied a Minus 950 penalty or dropped you from the SERPs entirely.
Why Would this Happen? A Word About Google Penalties…
Penalties are applied for a variety of reasons by Google. There are two types of penalties: algorithmic and manual. The algorithm when applied to your site may flag up possible causes for concern on the part of Google and this causes an automatic drop in your rankings. The first you may know is when you realize it is very quiet on your site by looking at your analytics and SEO visibility tools. A manual penalty can be triggered by an algorithmic flag, which then brings in Google's Search Quality Rankers to look at your site and decide if a site-wide or partial penalty should be applied. In this instance, you will receive a notification and a vague description of the reason, without any specific detail.
For years, MintCopy has been warning clients that a wholesale reliance on Google for traffic is a poor strategy. That there are many other ways to market your content and website, on and offline, and that it is never wise to have all of your eggs in one basket. Over the years, there has been wide evidence that the percentage of search engine traffic that your site will receive is less due to SEO and more due to how widely, or conversely, how narrowly, you are spreading your marketing net.
Google-Proof Your Marketing
So, if you rely only on SEO and do not seek to expand your marketing footprint beyond the search engines, then you are inevitably going to receive the majority of your traffic from Google. That fact alone makes you more vulnerable to any changes Google may see fit to apply to its algorithm or Webmaster guidelines.
However, what if you also send out press releases to online and offline media? What happens when you build a community and partake in other communities as a useful contributor? What changes when you get active on the social networks? Why does it make sense to conduct Internet marketing campaigns using a variety of actions? When all of these things happen, a smaller percentage of your traffic will come from the search engines because you will be getting so much traffic from your other marketing strategies.
And It’s Not Just About Penalties…It’s All About Relationships
As the penalties become more widespread from Penguin and Hummingbird, as well as from the still frequent Panda refreshes, the backlash against Google by well-known SEO marketers is increasing. Networks which bring together bloggers to find great content writers have been penalized. Links that are perfectly honourable have resulted in site-wide or partial penalties. Therefore, if you can get much more than just a click from a high-ranking SERP by doing more things outside the Google box, then surely that is the logical place to be turning your efforts?
For instance, for many people now, it is from the comments below a blog that serious business relationships (and even friendships) as well as additional information on the subject are being garnered. A regular commenter on a blog can demonstrate expertise, personality and knowledge with just a few words or a shared link to even more useful and relevant content that both the original blogger and the audience may have been unaware of.
These relationships, and those built on social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are the most common of value), are actually the foundations and building blocks to better business. Not a ranking on a SERP where the person searching and clicking on your link may remain anonymous to your site. That person may just be a fleeting visitor who you cannot harvest re-marketing data from. Or worse still, it could be someone who worded their search term badly and is not at all interested in your site. Your spend on organic SEO is wasted on those people.
How much better to spend equivalent time and money building actual relationships with interested folk who want to know more about your business and who may become long-term customers!
Over the course of the next few months, MintCopy will be looking at:
- How to join the growing number of successful SEO marketers who do not rely on Google
- Marketers who will be evolving new terms for the work they do (finally! SEO has been the wrong acronym for well over 10 years)
- Business savvy professionals who are finding success beyond Google.
This time had to come. For many, it is a shame it has taken so long to realize, but there is hope for you all. Watch this space!
Have questions about the latest in the world of SEO and content marketing? Talk to us at MintCopy. Call 888-646-8003 or send us an email.