I’ve been working as an SEO for a couple of years now, and in that relatively short space of time, I find it pretty hard to believe just how much my role has changed. In fact, I see my role as having evolved naturally over the years, in line with the ridiculous amount of changes that regularly take place in search.
However, we’ve heard a number of stories about businesses losing search visibility, because their previous agencies appear to be completely oblivious to the changes that are taking place. Even if they are aware of the changes, they don’t seem to be doing anything about it and I find this pretty difficult to comprehend!
When I talk about the ‘changes in search’, of course, I’m primarily focussing on algorithmic changes within the search engines – namely Google. In the past few months, we’ve been hit with some pretty radical changes, in the form of Penguin and Panda, which have really shaken search results. Matt Cutts, Head of Google’s webspam team, has ensured that Google becomes wiser to the black hat tactics that have been used in years gone by (and even today, evidently).
With this in mind, SEO needs to evolve in order to avoid the wrath of these algorithm updates. Searching for new ways to acquire links, finding novel ideas to optimize your pages, being creative with your content so that people will actually find it useful, and basically doing anything that’s going to make your site look rosey to the search engines.
So why is it that so many SEOs out there still use strategies from the early 2000s? We put it down to sheer laziness and a lack of passion for the job in hand. Sure, you can go out and buy a tonne of links from a dodgy network, which might look good to the client on paper, but what about the effect this is actually having on their search visibility? If it doesn’t have an immediate negative effect, it sure as hell will do in the future!
SEO is not a short-term solution – you need to think ahead and plan for the long-term. If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly. Take note of what’s going on within the search community; follow blogs, read Google’s announcements, talk to other SEOs. The information is pretty much there for you on a plate, and if you choose not to use that information wisely, you’re setting yourself up for a massive fall. It’s this type of attitude that gives SEO a bad name.
In my opinion, there’s only so long that bad SEOs will be able to hide. We’ve already had warnings from Matt Cutts himself, of an imminent algo update that will be “jolting’ to the search community, so if you haven’t already, it’s time to wise up and start taking SEO seriously.
Dan Howell is from Tecmark – a UK-based digital marketing agency. Dan loves to blog about most things related to inbound marketing.