If you run a business or a business’ marketing department, you’ve undoubtedly worked really hard to build a company website that’s attractive and that ranks well on search engines.
It’s not easy.
What makes it worse – the rules of the (Google) game are constantly changing.
Even just five years ago – all one needed to do was build a site that was reasonably attractive and that contained words (keywords) that were critical to your business success – words your customers were using to find your products and services.
If you did a reasonably good job of placing those words on appropriate pages of your site and added them to your meta tags – keywords, page titles and meta-descriptions – and added a sitemap, you were likely ranking pretty well. There was no need to worry about things like mobile compatibility, stuff called schema, the quality of inbound links, and more. It was still work to create a great website – but you knew the rules and could be successful.
What’s more, in those early days – if search engines actually altered the rules of the games (the dreaded algorithms) – they would generally let marketers know.
Sprint ahead to 2015…
Google – which virtually controls the search engine space – now makes daily adjustments to its search algorithms and when really major changes are made– says nothing. Websites that are not fully mobile compatible are now penalized. Too many inbound links from dubious sources – penalties. No SLL certificate? Penalties. No metadata (schema) – penalties. Too little fresh content – penalties. Duplicate content – penalties. Thin content – penalties. And on and on.
You get the picture.
And to make matters worse – there are those in the SEO community that suspect Google uses the very website analytics tools it offers business owners for free to better understand your traffic patterns (including time on site and bounce rates) – and adjust your websites page rank.
What’s it all mean?
Internet marketing is tough and getting tougher and more complicated. It’s also getting more and more critical to business success. Make sure you know the (Google) rules of the road.