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Look Ma, No Hands

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SEO for Local Business Marketing is a Tough Game

Look Ma, No Hands!
This is the sensation many local businesses have suffered lately as their rankings plummet
Have you noticed big changes on the front page of Google’s Local Internet Marketing search results?

Google’s ongoing algorithm changes have exposed many very large SEO companies. They were using what is called “black hat” SEO tactics to trick Google into giving both themselves and their clients higher rankings — rankings that were higher than Google thinks they deserve.

Now they’ve been sent packing from Google’s front page, where potential customers search for their services.

How about your business — have your search engine rankings changed dramatically lately? Have you been losing sales?

SEO is a very competitive industry and there are some very big guns with heavy staff numbers and hefty client lists – SEO and SEM companies that are making big money, I presume.

Not long ago, they were all over the front pages of Google for all the main keywords — the phrases  businesses type into the search box when they look for help with their online marketing.

Guaranteed Front Page Listings from Local Internet Marketing Experts

There were so many unbelievable offers, “guarantees” that they would get your keyword onto the front page for just a few dollars or your money back. Even at the time, you could tell that those promises couldn’t be taken at face value.

I’m not saying scams, but it would be almost certain that you would have to pay more once you were in the pipe and after you had committed a fair amount already. They would come back and give you a story for why, in this particularly unusual situation (insert excuse), you would have to pay more money to keep going.

These days I don’t see any of them on the front page with me anymore. I’ve got all new competitors around me there.

Where did the other SEO experts go?

There has been a big shakeup in search engine land over the past 12 months. Google is by far the dominant search engine – they attract far more people to their engine than all the rest of the search engines combined. So when that giant decides to scratch its rear end, sparks fly.

And scratch they did. They have been dramatically changing the criteria by which they choose the sites are that they put on their results.  This is called ranking.

That simply means the order of pages they chose to list in their search engine. As it is not possible to have every site on the front page, Google needs a way to make that decision.

To make that choice, they use a computer program which is known as an algorithm to pick and choose from all possible pages within their database (cache).  I don’t want to get technical in this article, so I will not talk about bots crawling, social signals and that stuff.

The main thing to know is that Google has to automate that process because it must crawl and catalog billions of web pages.  It is not possible to do this daily by hand.

So what has changed?

For many years most the SEO companies used techniques that Google classes as “blackhat” methods.  They used those techniques because they worked. Those unacceptable methods tricked Google’s automated systems into rewarding the sites that used them — giving them higher rankings than Google thinks they deserve.

Obviously, Google could not let that situation continue.

Over the past year, Google has made many changes to its algorithm and has used various other moves and PR bluffs that have been aimed at shaking up the SEO business.

This is not the place to discuss the many conspiracy theories (count me in, though) that spread through the industry as a result of the massive changes. I am certainly one of those who question Google’s claim that it has made these changes in order to deliver better results for their search customers. I don’t see them.

The fact is that Google makes its money (billions) out of the ads that they sell on their search results pages and many people think that the changes are really aimed at blowing a hole in the SEO business (which makes its money by not paying Google).

If a business can no longer trust SEO tactics – or if it has suffered a dramatic loss of sales because of the recent changes – where do they go now?

They are forced to go to Google and buy ads.

At the start of this piece, I said I didn’t want to put the moz on myself; I didn’t want to risk drawing attention to my situation and by doing so, risk getting my a kicked by the big G.

Here Goes…

The fact is that I haven’t written new content for this site in months.

I haven’t done any backlinking. I don’t schmooze for back scratching from anyone else.

But this site has stood – withstood – the test of Penguin and Panda and all the other changes and rug-pulling that Google has thrown at the industry.

Have a look around the front page and see if you recognise the other sites that are here. Almost all the big experts that were here before have gone and been replaced by sites I’ve never heard of.

And the same is true at Google.com – type in the keyword you used just now to find me in Australia and you will probably still find me in a similar position — in the US results. Also try “Local Internet Marketing” and “Local Business Marketing”.

That’s in spite of the fact there are millions of other SEO companies competing there.

The Moral of This Story?

If you are a business that has lost rankings since Google began its latest blitz or if you are looking to get started marketing your business online, I certainly do not advise you to do nothing the way I have been doing nothing this year (on this site, at least).

If you want to work with someone who is responsive and can demonstrate by ranking their own site against hefty competition, I might be your man.

No guarantees, no false promises and no cheap entry bait. Just straight talk and results.

Give me a call for a free chat 0415 93 44 98