‘Why has Google changed?’ and more importantly, ‘What impact are these amendments going to have on our place in Google rankings?’
e-commerce After Google’s Recent Changes
‘The more things change the more they stay the same’ is an aphorism we are all familiar with and many of us are scratching our heads worrying whether e-commerce is going to go the way of traditional forms of selling and marketing; more money equates to a more visible message. You recognise this trend: big corporations move in, levering out smaller businesses and the market as a consequence is impoverished through lack of consumer choice. The internet is a dynamic environment, like a beach which changes depending on tides, storms, deposition and erosion, there is no guarantee what we discover today will be around tomorrow. That is of concern to anyone searching or who is involved in e-commerce and is particularly pertinent as a consequence of Google’s recent changes.
Google’s War On Over-optimisation
Many publishers online, as this is exactly what we are these days, are knowledgeable about their SEO needs and feel confident they can attract a global audience. Google seems to have other ideas that frankly, go some way to undermine such knowledge and confidence. Matt Cutts (Head of Google Webspam Team) who is known for offering SEO advice stated Google were waging war on ‘over optimisation’. The plan was to make the Google bot wiser. Would that be as a consequence of ‘reading’ content which is deemed more relevant and of value?
Too Many Keywords And Unnatural Backlinks Are Penalised
Cutts was keen to define ‘over optimisation’ as being the appearance of far too many keywords per page. In addition, if a rash of unnatural backlinks are employed expect to be penalized in future. OK we will go along with that, it does improve the reading/search experience but these Google changes, designed apparently, to adjust the playing field level may not be working out quite as expected.
Effective Use Of SEO Or Google Adwords
It’s simple, our websites have great content and that alone is going to allow us to organically float to the surface way above those sites who choose to achieve their ranking through what I might generously term as ‘over effective use of SEO’. Personally, I have been experimenting with ‘great content’ and have recently watched my site drop to page 3, the anonymous bad lands. I am now considering what strategy I might implement next. Excuse me for being less than charitable but I am just wondering whether the reason Google has changed is to encourage small sites like mine to pay and make use of Google Adwords, just a thought.
The Death Of Quirky And Original?
Is Google in danger of actually skewing their playing field in favour of big brands who can pay writers to create masses of content, something a smaller outfit cannot possibly manage? The depressing thing is, quirky, independent, original sites are going to fade away on the internet in the same way as independent retails have back here on earth.
Black Hat Versus White Hat SEO
The interesting conundrum must be this: who will actually benefit from these changes? Will it be black hat or white hat SEO practitioners? I think smaller outfits are going to drop like a stone unless they can harness social media sites to build that ‘lifestyle/ good vibrations/ back link vibe’, what I might term ‘The Beach Boy Effect.’
How Can You Share What You Can’t Find?
You have to ask the question though, if it’s all about creating great content that people actually like, are we reliant therefore on the process that if searchers like it they will share it? So how is that possible if they can’t find the information in the first place? You may as well set up a Michelin starred restaurant at the top of a mountain without an access road or signage. What would the point be exactly?
The Future for B2B publishers
B2B publishers and companies, as a specific example, are renowned for not having a large, noisy social community presence, so what exactly are they going to do? Big brands elicit lots of natural links and shares etc. because they are already well known through all their other marketing channels, therefore it is natural they will rank highly in search engines because all the signals point to popularity.
Google Is Removing The Loophole From Their Algorithm
Historically, lesser known businesses have had to try to “create” this image of popularity by “over optimising” their SEO signals and if you were cynical (as if) it appears Google is removing this loophole from their algorithm. The future really might be forcing newer websites to invest in Adwords to encourage traffic because they can’t make use of DIY SEO anymore.
What Do You Think Of Google’s Changes?
Why has Google changed……again? This is a debate we need to have and I would be interested to hear examples of alternative strategy; will we all have to resort to highly creative guerrilla marketing strategies in future? What do you think?