Google has power. They know it. We know it. Likely, that power won’t change anytime soon and all we’re left to do is try to understand their rules and algorithms as best as we possibly can to engage in tactics that will allow our website to rank well in the search engine’s results pages. Google’s recent algorithm change that targets “content farms”, or content sites that are of low-quality, impacts nearly 12% of queries according to Google. This is a pretty significant number and the results have been seen pretty quickly. This is a change that not only affects searches, but also affects people on a more personal level. Mahalo announced that it would lay off 10% of its workforce due to the decline in traffic resulting from the algorithm change. From mashable.com:
Mahalo, the human-powered search engine and directory, has been hit hard by Google’s recent algorithm changes, site founder Jason Calacanis wrote in an e-mail to employees.
“The Google changes have led to a significant dip in our traffic and revenue. It’s hard not to be disappointed since we’ve been spending millions of dollars on producing highly professional content,” explains Calacanis. Due to the dip in traffic, Mahalo will lay off 10% of its staff and temporarily halt its freelance content production.
Google’s update is costing people their jobs. This is serious stuff, and proves that it’s important to never put all of your eggs in one basket when it comes to online marketing.
Search engine optimization is extremely important and should be a major component of any online marketing strategy. Essentially, SEO is the foundation, the bread and butter, but it’s not the end all be all. Instead of relying only on SEO link building as a source of website visitors, it’s essential to also build up everything else online and use all of the other strategies that are available to you, like email newsletters, social media networking, and pay per click advertising.
While relying on only PPC advertising is risky due to the changing landscape of the market and increases in click costs in a competitive space, it’s also risky to rely only on SEO. Google, obviously the current king of search, can make changes whenever they want. For this most recent update the target was bad content. While some of the content might have been bad on the sites that were hit the hardest, there was also some quality content on there that is getting punished too. Businesses that relied too heavily on content marketing and article submission to some of these sites will most likely feel the results and be in trouble. This is why a more diversified approach will keep you “safer” because one change won’t completely turn your search engine ranking upside down. Who knows what Google’s next target will be? When it comes to your extremely important online presence, it’s better to be safe than sorry.