Google’s Death Blow to SEO

In the world of traditional search engine optimization (SEO) there are two creatures that bring out fear and terror, pandas and penguins. It’s true, both creatures are stirring up quite a bit of trouble but the difference between the clumsy flightless bird and the adorable bear is that these animals,  “Panda” and “Penguin” are code names for Google’s latest search algorithm updates. With the flick of a proverbial switch, these updates not only change what you find while using Google, they can make or break a business.

So what’s the impact of the world’s most popular search engine changing the way it ranks websites? The short answer for some is chaos, as small and large businesses alike count on their position within the search engine for a consistent flow of new customers.  Google’s recent changes have proved disastrous to many businesses leaving marketers and owners in a state of shock, worried and looking for solutions.

“Traffic through Google has plunged by 96% and we are completely crippled now.” According to the Wall Street Journal’s recent interview with Andrew Strauss the co-owner of Oh My Dog Supplies LLC. Similarly, Sistrix reports that Ezinearticles recently lost up to 90% of its visibility within Google’s search results.

As Google shakes the box, little is known about the implications as these updates have long been considered proprietary and part of the company’s trade secrets. For years the SEO industry has speculated as to how best to produce top of the engine results but as recent updates prove, many specialists and their customers are finding that their efforts are only as good as the next algorithm change.

“For those who have spent thousands of dollars and years in optimizing their natural results, many of those efforts are now worthless. A line has clearly been drawn in the sand. Google wants to remove the traditional SEO industry once and for all as it makes way for its profit centers in the form of pay per click and other monetized media.” said Sean McCoy CEO and founder of Ethermark, Inc.

Google who has reported declines in its pay per click revenue in June of 2012, did announce that it would begin charging for insertion into part of its online index in the name of quality. “We believe that having a commercial relationship with merchants will encourage them to keep their product information fresh and up to date,” said Sameer Samat product manager for Google Shopping on a blog post announcing the company’s plans.

With the opening of the door towards this type of monetization the SEO industry is cringing at the thought that the company might soon expand this approach to other areas, specifically its local listings, which many small business benefit from as a modern day yellow page advertisement.  Regardless of if or when, most SEO firms and their clients are now starting to see that there’s no realistic long term strategy for SEO. The uncertainty now clouding a once prosperous and profitable marketing approach is today a dying art form that many believe is being replaced by social media.

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