Will Google Updates Change The Way We Advertise?

google penguin panda

We have all heard of Google’s notorious updates – Panda and Penguin; these algorithm changes were developed with the aim of reducing the prominence of low quality websites out there.

Although these may have been developed with good intentions in mind, unfortunately many businesses out there have now been negatively affected. Some down to their own efforts, if they (or their SEO agency) have been dabbling in questionable link building strategies, but other legitimate businesses were also taken out as a result of this brutal restructuring of the algorithm. Google consider dubious link building practices as spamming and may lower the page rank or set even higher penalties. Big name brands affected include:

  • Overstock.com
  • Interflora
  • JC Penney

Who Has Responsibility?

The scary thing for big brands is that many of them had hired SEO companies to carry out all the work for them.  Huge brands such as J. C. Penney then say they had no idea what the outsourced SEO company was up to on their behalf.  This excuse simply doesn’t work with Google; they quite rightly state that if it is your website then you are responsible.

It would be interesting to know how involved these big brands were with their SEO companies. Did they just pay the monthly fee and stay happy with the relationship as long as the traffic increased month on month? Or did they ask for details of each and every step that these companies were carrying out on their behalf?

When you see the damage that this can cause to these huge brands and their reputation it is difficult to believe that they willingly handed over full control of their reputation to a third party without heavily managing the work that was being carried out.  It would be easy to imagine that their PR disasters will have been a huge wake up call to so many other companies out there with outsourced SEO.

Outsourcing Your SEO

If you are going to outsource SEO then that is absolutely fine but you really need to make sure that you trust the agency working on your behalf. Don’t let your company be just a number on their books; you need to make sure that they care about your brand and reputation as much as you do.

There are SEO companies popping up all over the place and that is another reason that you have to do some serious background checks before you hand over the reins.  Your first step should be to find out how much experience they have and when they were established. Find out who their clients are and see what their SEO campaigns are like.

There are many businesses in this situation that will realise their lack of control and pull their SEO contracts straight away or dramatically reduce them. Many of these companies are opting for Pay per Click (PPC) advertising instead as they (or their PPC Management company) can measure every single  aspect of the account and they can see exactly what they get for their money.

Some have completely sidestepped the organic search opting for a 100% PPC campaign and others have started their PPC campaign to try and regain some traffic that was lost to the Google updates.

Pay per Click advertising can be daunting at first but it does offer a trackable way to closely monitor your return on investment.

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