SEO – same as it ever was?

SEO – same as it ever was? Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has changed a lot over the years. To succeed you used to have to try all sorts of different methodology and the results you’d get would be outstanding and very often stand the test of time. It used to be that SEO was the most cost effective route to market. It used to be that SEO was a great branding tool that allowed the underdog to have his day. It used to be that SEO was a geeks wet dream. Oh wait a minute… Despite Google’s best efforts to kill off the industry nothing has changed. Making concerted efforts to remove critical search term data from our view by deploying ‘not provided’ in the organic data reporting in their own Google Analytics tool and terminating contracts and API’s that 3rd parties can use to report on positional rankings doesn’t mean that you can’t do SEO successfully any more these days. Anyone who thinks that the algorithm has changed as a result of these changes is a fool. What Google has succeeded in doing over the last 2 years is winning the propaganda war. I, however, don’t believe this is a bad thing. The industry needed a shake up. As soon as you start hearing radio ads for SEO services you know we’ve come of age and that there’s some snake oil being peddled. This needed to stop, and hopefully there are fewer practitioners thinking that they can get away with it as it ain’t as easy to spam as it used to be. What it didn’t do so well was teeing up most SEO individuals, teams & agencies with additional paid work to bale out either their clients or some other agencies clients after they’d incurred penalties on their clients’ sites as a result of their algorithm updates. This got so out of hand that even one respected agency stated that it would cost upwards of £20k to conduct a thorough enough back-link audit to figure out how to bale the client out. However, if you pay attention to the right people (people like Dave Naylor, Rishi Lakhani, Ammon Johns, Bill Slawski, Wiep Knol, Barry Schwartz, Dave Pieris) you’ll have half the job done. What these guys do differently is what anyone practicing SEO should always be doing – testing, and testing on their own sites, not their clients. SEO is still cause and effect....
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