State of SEO in Today’s Market
At Da Code of Business, we’re always trying to figure out some of the best tips that we can provide for you. We’ve been reading some of Timothy Ferriss again, and love him or hate him, he’s got some great ideas. Among the myriad of things he’s outsourced, he’s talked about outsourcing SEO. A lot of the “vogue” SEO strategies used to work, some still do, some never did.
So I wanted to give a scope of the state of SEO in today’s market.
About ten, maybe fifteen years ago, optimizing a website and getting ranked happened pretty fast. Companies would hire an SEO, like Search Spartan, and within a couple of weeks, boom! their site is up on the first page, sometimes even position one. It was a good day for the Optimizer. Results happened quickly, everybody was buying, and horror stories of getting de-indexed were yet to be seen.
Well, then the recession happened, and a lot of businesses cut on one of the most important areas for traffic: marketing. In fact, this led to some stupid articles I came across a couple years ago about how SEO is dead, which has even led to some memes about how SEO is now obsolete, especially in bigger cities like Bakersfield, CA. This is, of course absurd, but unfortunately true–any business with a marketing need, needs search engine optimization.
So after the recession, businesses started really getting involved again in search engine optimization and we saw an increase of firms and horror stories until around 2015 when the major Penguin update hit like a bombshell, and then the horror stories really started coming in. See, Google got smart and changed their algorithm so that many of the old tactics wouldn’t work anymore. No longer could you set up a site just to throw a hundred links and nothing else on.
It frustrated a lot of SEOs and got sites de-indexed right and left.
Want to know the power of Google? They control eighty-percent of the internet’s searches. Just see what happens to your business’s traffic if all of a sudden no one can find you on the web. Yikes. See-ya sales.
But really, Penguin was a good move on Google’s part because their goal is to give their users the best experience possible–and that means some of the best and most relevant information. I don’t know if you’ve ever come across a site that really doesn’t seem like a real site–it looks awful, there’s no navigation, information’s shoddy, etc–but it’s awful. Well, Google’s wanted to change that. And good for them.
There have been some other significant changes to the algorithm, such as the YLYM update, or the most recent Fred update. Right now, a lot of businesses are seeing their listings bounce around. So even though Jane and Fred’s Emporium may have been on page one for the past few months, all of a sudden they might find themselves on page two. Well, pretty much no one goes there. And how is the average business owner supposed to know about these updates, what they mean, or how to work with them? Really, you’re not.
Today’s SEO is pretty complex. It’s not like the common lists you see floating around where there are 200 things to focus on in order to have good SEO, but there are a ton of things to learn and stay on top of. If you don’t understand what’s happening, then what’s most likely going to happen is you’re going to get lost in the sea of trillions of webpages that are out there. And, if you don’t have a web presence, and by that I’m also including getting found on the internet, you’re giving money away to your competitors.
But hey, maybe you’re more charitable than me.
The fact is, is that a good SEO firm can help you navigate the proverbial sea and get you found.
What to Look For
Let’s take the Search Spartan example again. If you were needing a Bakersfield SEO expert for example, then what you would do is go to their site, check out what they have to say, maybe even look at their references, and then contact them. Your initial strategy session is super important because it’s going to tell you a lot about whether or not this particular firm is right for you and your business.
Now you’re not going to understand all the nuances of SEO, and you’re not supposed to unless you’re an uber geek, which is fine. But here are some things to talk about. Do you need help getting your website built? A lot of search engine optimization experts include some website building. But remember–just because someone can build a website does not make them an SEO. Does your potential agency include a social profile strategy? What about business citations? What about names and anchor text? How do they link out to other sites and stay white hat? These are all things to consider. And if your potential SEO firm doesn’t discuss these things with you–be wary.
—Da Code of Business