Can SEO Still Work For Business Owners' Websites?

An Increasing Trend Of SEO Fear

Over the last couple of years I have noticed more and more potential SEO customers have concerns when they initially contact me regarding the efficacy of SEO. Often one of the first things they ask is whether it still works, as they have heard so much negativity in the media, or by word of mouth about SEO no longer being effective.

Anecdotes, Penalties and Scams

Firstly, they cite websites getting ranked for a while and then dropping back each time Google updates its algorithm. Secondly they have concerns about penalties being applied to websites and the business owners suffering a loss of revenue. And thirdly, they hear lots of stories about handing over money and never seeing any result. Obviously this raises doubts in their minds as to whether SEO is something they should be spending money on in their marketing budget.

SEO Is Always Evolving

I want to address each of these issues in detail, but will start by saying; SEO has evolved, and the simplistic tactics used by some SEO agencies, both offshore and in Australia no longer work. Google has found ways of identifying website owners taking short cuts and trying to “game the algorithm” and has taken effective steps to weed these kind of websites out of its results.

Google’s Business Model

Why would Google do this? The first thing that you have to understand is that Google is a database of information, and the search results are basically a list of pieces of data that Google’s algorithm identifies as being the most relevant to the searchers enquiry. Hence, Google wants to serve the most useful and relevant content that it possibly can based on the users intent (as indicated by what the type into the search box). If Google cannot do this because the search results are muddied with low quality websites, then people will start using a different search engine like Yahoo or Bing, or one we haven’t even heard of yet.

Of course, if this were to happen and people stopped using Google, then they wouldn’t be able to sell advertising on their search results pages. These are the listings you see with a little sponsored listing indicator next to the link that says Ad

So in a nutshell, Google wants to protect the integrity of its search results so that they provide the best return of information that is possible in an “organic” way based on relevance and authority so that they can then sell advertisements on the search results page.

How Google Does This?

There are two ways that Google tries to weed out low quality websites:

1)      Updating its algorithm to identify poor content and promotion practices

2)      Penalties (notified in Google Webmaster Tools) for flagrant spamming of the search engines in their eyes

Who Is At Risk?

If you are producing high quality content on your website that is informative and useful to the end user AND you are promoting your website without trying to manipulate Google’s proprietorial Page Rank metric – you are safe.

If you are producing low quality content on your website, that basically adds no informative value to the end user other than your own commercial intent, and you promote your website aggressively using techniques that Google considers to be spam – then you are at risk.

Who To Avoid

Over the last few years with the rise of SEO being used by business owners to promote their websites on Google, more and more low quality SEO companies from offshore and from within Australia have entered the market offering cheaper and cheaper, quicker and quicker solutions based on unrealistic promises, and counting on the fact that business owners don’t understand SEO and are willing to sign up to long term contracts.

The end result for these customers has often been:

1)      Poor results

2)      Short term success followed by a disappearance from the search results

3)      Penalties issued against their website

And SEO getting a bad name because of this.

How To Keep Your Website Safe

At Sydney Search Results Pty Ltd, we take a very different attitude. We have been in business since 2003 and have consistently over that time got good results for our clients at a reasonable price. We have clients on our books who have been with us since the start and who are still on page one, getting new business every day from ranking well in the search results. Year in year out. Algorithm update after algorithm update.

We are more than happy to explain in detail everything we do, so that you can be assured that you will not be targeted by Google in an algorithm update or penalty. We can do this because you won’t be speaking on the phone to a receptionist or sales person – you will only ever deal with an SEO expert with over ten years’ experience: that is our commitment to you.

We are so confident that we will get you results that we don’t ask you to lock into a one year contract that you can’t get out of, we offer a month by month invoicing arrangement that you can stop AT ANY TIME.

How can we offer a no lock in contract when so many of our competitors want to tie you in to a contract? Because we are so confident that we will get results that WE DON’T NEED TO.

We know you will get results, and we know that you will be happy to stay with us, so why tie you into a contract. Our aim is to have happy customers with a positive ROI on their investment who stay with us because they are receiving the results that they want.

Why else would we have customers on our books who have been with us for years when they are not locked into a contract?

So, Does SEO Still Work?

Yes, if SEO is performed correctly and ethically following Google’s suggested best practice with a website that offers quality content to the readers.

Allow us to walk you through what we can do for you, step by step, with full transparency and you will find that as Google weeds out more and more poor quality websites, your website will just benefit from the process, because YOU will be giving Google exactly what it wants.

David Cannell

Business Owner

October 2014