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Is SEO As We Know It Dead

June 4 2014

Ever since the middle of last year my account managers and myself have been getting a steady flow of calls and emails from really distressed business owners who have been penalised by Google. They were sitting comfortably on page 1 or 2 and mysteriously overnight they have dropped to no where. That is their SEO rankings have gone completely. Some businesses have had to shed staff whilst others have had to borrow more money to keep the doors open. It’s an absolute nightmare and the purpose of the following article is to explain to you what has really happened and in turn to help you, the consumer ( if you have been affected by this) to help improve and restore your rankings.

In April 2013 Google implemented a massive change in their ranking algorithm – this was known as the Penguin change and it affected an unbelievable number of websites across the whole internet. Basically, it penalised sites with poor content and rewarded websites that had rich content.

The affect, in my opinion was needed as sites that offered a poor user experience ( if they were optimised) often ranked higher than legitimate sites. Companies could launch any type of website, implement a SEO campaign and have it ranked very quickly.

The follow up algorithm change by Google, known as Hummingbird was the death knell for these type of weak sites. It happened very recently and and now means that websites must now look at a raft of variables if their website is ever going to have a chance of ranking.

Simple put, the more organic, the more natural, the more informative a website is, the better chance it will have of ranking. Google will rank sites based on the quality of the content and the authority of the in bound links as opposed to a scatter gun, over optimised strategy.

Many businesses suffered tremendously with these changes and sites disappeared overnight. It also killed off many SEO providors but has left an extremely bad taste in the mouth of some people who have a complete distrust of seo companies.

 

Forget About Doing The Following – these practices are LONG GONE!

The recent Penguin, Panda + Hummingbird algorithm changes have outlawed some past SEO practices which were once favoured and approved by SEO teams and the search engines. These techniques were so common, because they worked – how times have changed! If you find that any of these following practices are being implemented by your SEO company, and you find that your rankings are suffering, then you might end up in worst case scenario, a Google penalty. My advice: stop all SEO work immediately.

Keyword Spamming – Most clients I used to work with with had one main concern or request. That is; can you optimise 1 keyword for me. Please put it on my home page as many times as possible and have it linked throughout my site where ever feasible. This used to work, nowadays, it looks terrible, reads poorly and in some cases will get your site penalised. If you are looking at your web pages, and you see this, delete them immediately.

Link Swapping – If I link to your site and you link to mine and I link to another site and then they link to you etc etc. You get my drift and so does Google. These fraudulent activities are going to get noticed and you will end up paying the price. If you receive emails from dubious companies offering links or swapping links, just ignore them.

Putting your link on many Blogs – its really easy to do this. There are so many blogs out there and they all allow you to voice your opinion, publish your thoughts and guess what? You can add a link back to your website. How good and easy is this for promoting your business. WRONG! These are a huge NO NO and once you get picked up for this type of online spamming, you are going to see your website plummet. Thats for sure!

Build Dodgy Links – Businesses who used to employ SEO companies for this specific purpose are now crying. They built thousands of links and in turn over optimised their site. Once easy to do – you could buy 1000 links for $45 – now probably the worst thing you could do .

Have You Submitted Articles to Poor Websites – Article submissions to article websites are a waste of time. what these guys do is takes your article and resell it off to other companies looking for content – this gets syndicated all over the internet and the results for your website is catastrophic. Far too many links that appear spammy pointing to your website are now spun throughout the internet. Delete as many of these articles as you can and do it now!

Poor web Content – If you think you can write one or two lines for your main landing pages, think again. This won’t work. Google needs to index content and display this to users. If you cant satisfy this, then don’t bother ever thinking about ranking. It just wont happen. I tell all my clients to keep the word count up and keep on publishing valuable information. It is hard to do, but thats the way it is online for the moment.

 

What Hopping Mad Designs is doing Properly to Help Clients with their SEO.

Forget about the bad SEO practices, they are so so 2012. Let’s look forward to the future and I will tell you ways in which we are helping over 500 client’s with their SEO – what we are doing properly and why we are considered the ‘go to’ company for search engine optimisation in Sydney.

Content and On Page Amends – This is rally the first place to start when it comes to your SEO. 3 years ago it was all linking, but today, you need to have a serious audit of your website to make sure that its site wide compliant. Of course linking is vital and a massive factor, BUT you will go no where unless the proper semantics, URL structures, titles and a whole heap more are in place.

Build a Websites Authority Naturally – Its not a one size fits all. Many SEO companies will take your dollars and just do back linking. This is not how it works. We fully customise a SEO campaign to fit your business niche. For example if you are a local real estate agent your campaign will differ vastly than that of a national freight carrier. We employ different methods and tactics to rank sites and build authority. Local sites will get local citations with local directories and positive links from relevant geo specific websites. National websites looking for authority will receive links for larger more recognised sites as well as a greater push with the social media. Our point of difference when building authority is that we actually care and pay attention. We look at the best custom fit solution to your digital marketing and implement this in a very organic and natural way.

Focus on Social Media – Hummingbird has meant that websites need to focus on their social media. Getting liked, tweeted, shared, commented and playing in the Google + space is a good way to generate interest in your business. Not only does it drive traffic to your site but it is a good trigger for the search spiders. We are able to strategise and plan social media campaigns a year in advance so we have an actual plan and expected outcome. We don’t want to have a rambling, scattered, disorganised approach to your social media marketing, but one thats co ordinated and planned. Its perfect our designers can come up with the graphics or ads, our copywriters can come up with the campaign wording and we are able to monitor its effectiveness and adjust based on results.

Conversion Rates – We monitor your websites performance through analytics and watch whats happening religiously. We monitor bounce rates, time spent on each landing page, site speed and make sure that your pages are converting into paying customers. The advantage of using a company like Hopping Mad Designs is that we are a web design and SEO company. So, if you need any on page graphic amends to compliment the SEO we have the skill set to do this. ALL UNDER 1 ROOF. You can leave all your worries behind about working with 2 sets of people of companies. We can do the lot, which is a blessing for your business. You have to trust me on this. If we are able to co ordinate the design and SEO, you are going to be a big winner!

We Never Pay For Links – we own our own website and are able to drip feed authority into your website. We can control this like a tap and do this uniformly over time. Our SEO is so sound and effective and this practice works so well that all our clients are ranking on page 1 – the litmus test is see for your self. Have a look at our own awesome rankings – this should be proof enough! We have been at the top for years and will continue to remain there. So if you want to be a winner and work with a company that has sound SEO knowledge and experience, call us today.

A point to note – if you are thinking about a SEO campaign – think long term SEO – short term gains do not exist any more so ideally you need to be in this for the long haul. It’s not a bad thing once you are on page 1 – you will want to keep this going on forever.

In conclusion, SEO is NOT DEAD, it is very much alive. What is DEAD, is the unsound and disreputable practices of a majority of SEO companies.

Google has tightened its ranking criteria, and closed many loopholes that allowed these types of companies to exist. I say, well done Google and I look forward to the future to see what new updates will bring and the challenges they present us with.

 

Fed up with NOT RANKING? Need Some Sound SEO Advice

If you are fed up with you poor rankings or feel that you have been given a bad deal, please call us on 02 9360 8514 and we will show you exactly how SEO is done properly. 3o minutes with me, will turn you entire thinking around and enlighten you to the full potential and magic that is, SEO.