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These days most Australians use the internet to find the things that we need. Fewer and fewer people use the old telephone book, and we don't like radio and television trying to beat us into submission by screaming about their never to be repeated sales. Search Engine marketing through SEO is a completely different form of advertising because we get to request the ads that we want to see. If we want something, we just 'Google it'.
Most people think Googles business is to be a search engine; to assisting people by referring them to useful and informative websites. Googles business is selling advertising. Products like the search engine are merely to attract us. Have you ever wondered why Google produces the greatest software in the world, like the search engine, Google Earth, iGoogle and Gmail, and then they just give it away for free? Google is marketing to you through all of these products, similar to free to air television. The programs are just to attract us to watch the advertising. However the advertisements are much more subtle and a lot less obvious to 'viewers'.
When you 'Google' something there are three significantly different sets of results provided. The 'Organic' results, Google Places and the 'sponsored links'. Adwords Sponsored links are for businesses that 'Pay per Click', and these results are shown down the right hand side of the page, and often occupy the top three positions. Organic results come up on the left, and are selected by the search engines algorithm. So paying per click is a bit like hiring a ring side seat, and being in the organic results is more like actually being a part of the show. So this begs the question;
How does Google choose websites that feature in the organic search results?
The Google search algorithm is quite likely to be the most complex equation of all time. It is continually modified, by the Google geniuses, contributing from all over the world...these changes are followed closely by SEO internet markeing companies. The best way to briefly describe the algorithm is to say that it is designed to select mature websites that feature a lot of original and informative, up to date and well organised information, as well as a strong Link Profile.
The only surprise to me is why this did not happen earlier... years ago? It had to happen! For many years I have been analyzing just how Google chooses web page's to refer to the top of its results page. I would look at what we are doing and wonder how this algorithm apparently so ‘brilliant and powerful’ could really fall-for what we were doing to manipulate it, in order to refer us at the top of its results page.
You couldn't see it until you look at complete project data holistically. I would often compare the statistics of some of our most successful customers data profiles (Our SEO work) along-side the rare websites that do actually rank naturally, and they looked totally different, they looked as unnatural as they were. This year that changed. It was obvious... how it should look naturally, beside what worked then. Google was still ranking and rewarding our clients for what we knew worked then, so we stuck with it, blending it with what we thought was to come, and now has.
I am betting the number of website optimisation service providers reduced a dramatic amount over 2013. It was published1 that during 2013 the global SEO industry reduced in size about 25%, and about 65% of SEO companies were affected. I don't believe that, that just 65% were affected. I would bank on my view that 100% of us were affected. That is because the best and most effective way to do SEO changed; so the adverse 35% who claim they were not affected can't have been doing it right before the changes, and therefore couldn't have survived.
This year was a time that some of our traditional clients quit with OptiMax® and left us for the competition. While our phone rang-hot with new inquiries from other SEO companies clients seeking a new supplier, similarly blaming their SEO for the drop in their rankings.
It is true we are in damage control at OptiMax® and that we are working harder than we have ever had to before. Before the changes, it was typical that we would naturally have 2 or 4 (about 2% - 3% of our clients) problem websites projects that we would have to commit additional time and resources into. Now we have around 18% to 20% of client websites in recovery at a time... including our own primary site! Normally we are in position #1 for Website Optimization but we are now bouncing around on the bottom of the first page as we continually apply the antidote... our new procedures.
The good news is that our antidote is working! As we work tirelessly applying the changes, we are getting positive results. We have proved that our new procedures are turning around the first few of our client sites that were affected. We will have you, and us back at the top soon!
We are recruiting and training again, entering a new phase of growth. It is a little known fact that OptiMax® has offices not only in Brisbane Australia, but also in the Philippines. This way OptiMax® taps into a resource of positive, high spirited and talented Filipino people, while accessing reduced operating costs. Without this, we would never be able to deliver the products we do deliver; the product would be unaffordable for most clients and unsustainable for OptiMax®.
If your SEO supplier is still around now... or more-so survives the next 6 to 12 months then you have most likely have the right supplier. Companies or individuals who have not evolved by sharing, studying, listening, learning and applying new techniques, contacts and antidotes are gradually disappearing. Thank Google for that! We are delighted to clean our industry of ‘marketing specialists’ who are void of any truly effective products.
If your SEO Company survived 2013... then they have proved to be a truly valid and effective Website Optimisation Company.
It is always been our policy at OptiMax® to not talk-tech with customers because so many SEO people do this as a sales technique to confuse the customer into being fearful and uncertain enough they feel they must do something.
We talk about the theory of SEO and that is easier to follow. I am personally a theoretical SEO and not necessarily a technical person.
Years ago, to make a website rank highly you needed these things -
What OptiMax® has always done differently in the past is concentrate on a low volume of links from trusted high-quality sources. This has put us ahead of the main pack of SEO's who spent most of the time posting high-volumes of cheap links, often using software to post them.
What is required to make a website rank highly in 2013 and Beyond -
This is what has until now been most effective in earning a good ranking clearly for an injury lawyer search... It was effective yes, but not natural. What are the chances of this webpage attracting 10 links a month that all look like that? It is almost impossible... particularly if all or even some the link-donor sites are hosted together. I have been wondering why Google have taken so many years to begin to penalize for this.
These days we are merging and diluting customer link profiles (‘exact match and similar match anchor text’) to look more like this -
This kind of linking is actually likely to naturally occur. Google has shifted away from relying on ‘exact match anchor text’ to know what the page content is all about; hence the greater reliance on ‘On-Page’ detail to prove that. So of course Google is relying more on the words surrounding the link, and the subject of the page serving it.
Finally, the removal of Toxic Links. In the past Google has basically ignored bad links to your site, because bad-links could be posted by your competition. However Google needs to penalize for bad SEO like poorly done linking; so then the Google Disavow tool was introduced.
Now you can attack your competition (or be attacked) with loads of toxic links (the opposite of all the good practices listed above) to knock them off there positions you so badly need. It is up to them to find the links and use the Google Disavow tool to remove them.
Completed in just the last week, a major Russian SEO software company has released software to discover and reveal toxic links that are affecting your sites rankings. The software is premium and comes at a premium price... however saves us from what we have been doing manually, taking so many more hours. Already our new software has both validated manual work we were doing, and revealed a ‘toxic link campaign’ against a customer courtesy of his nearby competition. We have now of course disavowed those links and we are beginning to recover the customer's site.
You may notice nothing is really new. SEO is not dead as some say... it has not even changed. Only these basics have become incredibly more refined.
What did Google call these changes? You will hear tech-heads talking about firstly Panda, and we were already ahead of that. Then Penguin, but it wasn't until Penguin2.0 revision we started to really feel it, and now what they have called a later update Hummingbird.
So today is when you need a good SEO the most. Things seem tough because they are, and we know what to do and are getting it done. Be patient and know we are tirelessly applying the new techniques to all of our customer jobs.
It was the biggest year in SEO we have definitely ever had. It was a nerve-wracking wait for it and I am pleased in many ways it has finally arrived. I am happy because the ‘monsters are out of the closet’ so we know what we are dealing with. We have proved we understand it and have the antidote, as well as the industry providing excellent new software to help us continue in our David and Goliath battle!