September 27, 2013

If you have a website, you want to be on page one when people search on Google, Bing or Yahoo. This task, called Search Engine Optimization (SEO), was never easy but hundreds of companies made a good living promising you they could do this for you. Conventional SEO wisdom (outlined in my book) – more content, more relevant links, and more key words within your site copy – still works, but SEO is getting much harder now that Google, is a public company.

What does this have to do with SEO? Google became the King of Search because they had one mission: to be the search leader by using constantly changing algorithms to find and display the most relevant websites. But now they have a new mission: increasing advertising revenue! If they are going to keep their owners (stockholders) happy, they need to show constantly increasing revenue.

This was clearly the message shared at a recent SEO Conference in San Francisco. If your small company wants to be on page one, you may have to buy it. While Google doesn’t distort organic listings to make money, their driving mission is now to make money. It’s that simple. Google, Bing and Yahoo make money by paid and display search, not from being good search engines or helping you move up in organic search. Yes, optimizing your site for search is still important. But now the Google sales team is as important as Google’s programming team. And that means you need to rethink SEO, especially if you are paying consultants to work the system. Your money might be better spent buying exposure.

One comment

  1. Agree with everything you have here except the following:

    “Your money might be better spent buying exposure.”

    Every business will get better exposure by doing both SEO and paid online advertising. Relying on one or the other is not optimizing their exposure online. This is especially true for local businesses.

    Of course there is the critical factor of how much you are spending to get traffic to your site through both of these marketing options and if that traffic is converting into customers or leads.

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