It doesn’t take an SEO consultant with his finger on the pulse of the industry to recognize the breakneck speeds of which SEO is changing. In the last two months alone, Google has announced a total of 65 changes to its network features ranging from Panda updates to page ranking, SafeSearch, and a number of other user and SERP-oriented functions. The incredible thing is that five dozen revisions in the span of two months actually equates to a fairly slow couple months for Google.

Let’s take a look at where we started this year. Way back in January, our industry was contending mostly with Google Panda and the efforts of black hat SEO companies. Then, just a few months later, we were introduced to Google Penguin. The landscape of Google’s SERPs began to change drastically, with artificial link databases and blog networks being shut down and spam sites falling down the rankings. Flash forward to now and we’re looking at a whole slew of recent developments and a Panda Update that has been said to affect 2.4% of all English language query results.

The Steady March of Progress
What a difference a year makes. Over the course of the last nine months, the very way in which SEO companies interact with Google has changed significantly. Old tactics are now obsolete, new approaches are constantly emerging, and the emphasis which online marketing agencies place on social media has become more prominent. While some people in our industry have been entirely negative about the changes, the fact remains that almost all that’s come out of 2012 this year has been for the better.

Aside from forcing SEM organizations to eschew spam and duplicate content, Google’s development of its SERP filtering techniques has also caused many online marketers to start focusing more on the end user and less on lazily targeting a simple set of coding criteria. Each month our industry steps farther away from antiquated ideas like keyword density and term stuffing and instead asks itself the important questions. What do users want? What’s trending and popular? How do I capture users with content that matters to them?

While other companies are panicking about where our industry is headed, top SEO agencies know that they must learn to adjust to the current state of things and look at ways to take advantage of the latest trends. Falling behind the competition will come as a result of sticking to old techniques and resisting the future that lies in store for SEO. It’s time that we all look at the path that Google has set for our industry on and decide how best to tackle it.