The current prevalence of social networks in our daily lives is not to be underestimated. Although some sites such as Facebook have been showing a generally downward growth trend as of late, the medium that we refer to as “social media” is stronger now than it’s ever been before. With nearly a billion users to be found between Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, it’s clear that there is no end in sight for social networking. This, of course, bodes well for social media companies that handle business marketing. What may surprise many readers, however, is how the constant growth of social media may continue to cement the relevance of SEO as a whole.
Just last week, a report was released by Social Media Examiner that delved into the activities of over 3,800 social media marketing companies (SMM) the world over. As these social network-focused internet marketing firms answered the annual site survey in droves, everyone got a chance to see the breakdown of their efforts. Although one might assume that SMMs focus most of their efforts on PPC campaigning, it turns out that less than half do so and instead favor SEO in their campaigns.
Really it’s the SMM preference of SEO-related activities over pay per click advertising and event marketing that is a real attention getter. Out of the nearly 4,000 social media company representatives polled, 65% of them admit to relying on search engine optimization over a mere 38% who claim they use PPC ads. In an additional inquiry, the polled companies were asked if they intend to use more SEO or PPC services in the future. 68% of the surveyed marketing firms stated that they will be using more SEO methods through the year, while a significantly lower 43% intend to redouble their PPC efforts.
Social Media Marketers both Need and Want SEO
In spite of the recent concerns being voiced by key members of the industry, social media companies certainly have a great deal of confidence in the future of SEO. With Google’s massive Panda overhaul being released shortly, it’s a reassuring thing to see that online advertising firms haven’t lost faith in the current state of internet marketing. For all the doomsayers and alarmists currently speaking out against Google, some small business owners may be tempted to ignore organic link building in favor of paid advertisements. It’s reports such as the one published by Social Media Examiner that offer concrete truths in uncertain times.
The results of the survey show that the biggest social media marketing firms realize that search engine optimization is here to stay. While Google Head of Webspam Matt Cutts has warned the SEO community against sites using “heavy SEO,” the fact remains that smartly designed optimization efforts will continue to prove beneficial for business owners of every shape and size. While any SEO company worth its weight knows that less is more, what also matters is how the work is implemented. For social media companies, that means creating quality content for both networks and destination pages. It’s because of reliance like this that SEO will be along for years to come.
It seems not a week can go by without Google raising more alarms within the SEO community. Online businesses that have been watching their web analytics over the last few weeks may have noticed some alarming trends. Traffic has been dropping steadily for many online companies and the page rankings have been falling along with it. While not everyone has been affected by these disturbing trends just yet, more and more pages are experiencing the impact of Google’s constant search engine revisions.
Just this past weekend, webmasters checked their analytics to find that their sites were hit severely by what many suspect is a silently rolled-out Google search engine update. From Friday through Sunday, site traffic and Google referrals changed so dramatically that a fair bit of speculation has been made as to whether Google has already begun implementing its long-promised search algorithm overhauls. While no one can say for certain whether the weekend’s traffic trends were a result of the Easter holiday or something nefarious from within Google itself, the fact is that many people have already begun to panic once more.
Times are Changing and SEO is Changing with It
Regardless of whether your company’s website is already SEO friendly or has yet to be optimized for search engine relevance, the fact is that every site online today will need to be prepared for the coming months. Many businesses and even some webmasters still haven’t heard the news of Google’s upcoming massive Panda update, which will include revisions to punish sites with excessive SEO activity. Because of the update, everyone is waiting on pins and needles as countless search engine result pages will appear radically different in only a few weeks’ time. So how does one best prepare for the future?
As WebiMax continues to revise its own SEO development practices for the upcoming Panda update, we strongly recommend that every online business and organization owner revises his or her own web content. In the past, internet companies could observe simple SEO practices and implement them in order to create more search engine friendly sites. Yet with Google radically revamping how its search algorithm operates, many of the techniques the SEO industry has come to rely upon are going to fall by the wayside very soon.
We have the Solutions you Seek
Always forward-thinking and progressive, WebiMax has been working overtime with its clients to better prepare them for the looming threat of the new Google algorithm. Our staff of expert SEO developers and project managers works together with businesses to provide exceptional local SEO support and a design process that yields proven results every time. Even though the future may be an unsure time for many internet companies, we are able to provide a little peace of mind in the days ahead. With Webimax here to help, no online business owner needs to panic.
If you’re more curious about the upcoming Panda updates, we suggest reading more about it. We are proud to offer a great overview on the topic. It can be read here.
Most people have positive, cuddly associations to pandas. Google changed that for a lot of online businesses back in February by implementing ongoing Panda updates. Last week, an online source revealed data related to the updates’ influence on search rankings. It seems things are going as planned; the SERPs are populated with better results, indirectly tipping the cap to brands making modifications and SEO firms that helped.
SEO – It Works
SEO works; it doesn’t guarantee success of a brand, but it does what the acronym implies; it optimizes SE opportunities. Practitioners are not magicians; we simply follow the provided blue prints for success as provided by the major search engines. As we can see regarding the devaluation of content farms on SERPs, those who heeded suggestions benefitted. Those who did not follow suggestions suffered.
I like to describe search engine optimization services as “dynamic.” Dynamic aid multitasks and helps in several ways, surpassing one-time, static aid. Let’s consider how an SEO strategist may help regarding Panda updates. For one, a practitioner will call attention to immediate, to-be modifications, helping clients escape possible penalties waged by Google. Secondly, specialists may help a client change the way the brand produces and implements content. Such wisdom has far-reaching, positive implications, transcending immediate space and time.
Many times, industry practitioners refer to search engine optimization as an investment rather than a cost. That’s a beneficial way for potential clients to perceive the services. Rather than a steadfast rate and exchange process, SEO enables continuous growth, making it rather difficult to place an exact value upon it. Additionally, clients can learn a bit of SEO as the campaign progresses, giving them fuel for future success without the aid of an external source.
SE + SEO = Client
Some novices think the search engine optimization process is magic, but it’s more like translation. SE practitioners have industry experience. We understand SE suggestions and how to implement them regarding client campaigns; clients don’t have to fret over continuous updates. The SEO process is going as planned, indirectly exhibited through the recent “victory.”
It is true that many of us watch videos online more than we read text articles, but just how many? A recent report for comScore shows that 85% of the United States internet audience watched videos on the internet in September, 2011 alone. That percentage represents 182 million Americans. Interested in optimizing your video with Video SEO? Furthermore, the report states that the average viewer spend 19.5 hours in September watching video.
These numbers are staggering and confirm for us that not only are people “broadcasting themselves” on sites including YouTube, companies are also creating advertising content for themselves through video. This calls for a need of video search engine optimization solutions. Without effectively optimizing the video, it will fail to get picked up and rank well on popular search engines.
ComScore also reported that 6.8 billion video ads were viewed in September. YouTube (at no surprise) ranked as the top video site with VEVO and Microsoft Sites ranking 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
Interestingly enough, Google’s latest Panda Update allowed video streaming services and websites to rank higher in the SERPs in the month of September. There may be a direct relationship to the increase reported by comScore for September with the results of the Panda.
When Google CEO Eric Schmidt spoke that the United States Senate hearings back in September, he was asked if the company’s methods could be a bit more transparent. The CEO of the search engine titan replied “There is a limit to the amount of transparency – it is proprietary and if it was more open it would be heavily gamed”. He did however then state that “we can do a better job describing our changes”. Perhaps the most recent evidence of the “better job” came last week as Matt Cutts stated “Weather report: expect some Panda-related flux in the next few weeks, but will have less impact than previous updates”. This statement is of course referring to the Panda update that was first launched in early spring of 2011.
The Panda update is on every search marketer’s mind and for good reason. The Panda (which is updated on an almost monthly basis) is an algorithm change that acts to weed out poor sites that lack sufficient (and valuable) information. It strikes websites that are considered “spammy” including linkfarms, content farms, and the like.
The enhanced transparency has its advantages and disadvantages with the Panda update. First of all, search marketers know exactly what they’re doing when optimizing a site using “black-hat” SEO tactics. Black-hat SEO includes using unethical and unscrupulous tactics to improve a website’s visibility. Ever heard of steroids in baseball? As Cutt’s recent tweet stated, “expect some panda-related flux in the next few weeks”, the black-hat SEO firms know they better change their methods so they don’t get affected.
The advantages, however, mostly steer to combat the arguments that were presented at the U.S. Senate hearings that suggested Google controls everything on their search engine, and thus prohibits fair competition amongst firms. The Senate feels as though increased transparency and communication may rid the company of any unfair competitive edge they have with what gets published on their search engine and why.
As of now the exact changes have not been released however there is a margin of error that affects reputable websites including Forbes, TheTodayShow.com, and PR Newswire as of recent.
More updates to come as we find out!
WebiMax launched WebiMax scams as an online resource to provide consumers with necessary information regarding the safety of search engine optimization. Since there is no specific regulation for the SEO industry, some firms may take advantage of their client to falsely achieve higher search engine ranking. Sometimes it is challenging to determine if the firm is practicing “black-hat” (unethical) or “white-hat” (ethics) optimization. The negative results of being victimized of black-hat optimization are detrimental to the consumer’s online presence, as search engines (including Google) typically send them to the last page of their search results.
This online resource is one of 4 recently launched sites that help to educate the consumer to multiple considerations within the search engine optimization industry. Last week, the company also announced the release of WebiMax reviews and WebiMax complaints.
The most important part of contracting with an SEO firm is to ensure they have a Code of Ethics posted somewhere on their website. Also, an Exclusivity policy is a nice addition to any reputable firm. This means the company is committed to only working with 1 client in a respective industry. It would be, after all, quite challenging to increase a client’s visibility while trying to increase their competitors.
Google has taken the necessary steps to combatting unscrupulous firms that are involved in black-hat SEO. They released the Panda Update to target and penalize those firms that conduct this.
WebiMax will continue to release similar websites that provide an online resource for the consumer.