Separating the Search “Expert” Wheat from the Chaff

Creative Commons by FeatheredTar

Allinio is not nor has it ever purported to be a search “expert.”  We farm out that skill and spend a lot of time vetting the charlatans, pretenders and buffoons that claim to be SEO and/or SEM (or PPC) “gurus.”   As in any heirarchy of talent, there are few at the top and a lot of sloppy wannabes at the bottom.  It always is amusing to hear some business owner claim that he or she has a “top” search vendor, only to learn that the “vendor” is frequently a son or partner’s nephew whose name is Jason, Justin, or Jared, complete with a goatee or otherwise unshaven face.  Leave it to Google to put in another obstacle that will leave these companies scratching their heads when Jason, Justin, or Jared don’t get them the search rankings that they were hoping for or promised.

Apparently Google is adjusting its algorithms to suppress sites that “over-optimize” for higher Google results. (Over-optimize?  Isn’t that some sort of oxymoron?  How can you over-optimize something if it’s optimized?).  Oh, we get it… Google believes that this effort will level the playing field between sites that “game” their system with painstaking detail and sites that rise in rank via well written, germane content for their readers.

So is Google really championing the folks that simply put out good stuff and penalizing those that think they have to “game” the system since the game indeed changes regularly?  That’s a nice thought, except you could put out the greatest content in the world, but are you that confident that Google will “reward” you with better rankings?  Just how will it work?  Supposedly Google is planning the integration of semantic search capability, giving them the power to better answer users’ natural language questions and queries instantaneously, rather than merely point them to a list of websites that might contain the answers they seek just because they contain the right keywords.  Not doubting Google’s amazing capabilities, we still recommend a content distribution plan that gets your content where it needs to be – don’t hope for Google to save you.

So what does this mean for Jason, Justin and Jared, Uncle Mike?  Well, chances are they are not content savvy.  They know how to game Google, some better than others, but the rules are changing so that professional Marketers need to truly step up to the plate and deliver on the content side.  We already know that content is key to starting conversations with a B2B audience, but now here’s another compelling reason to have a sound content strategy- because it drives SEO and ranking, not the other way around.

Google’s game change is going to accelerate the separating of the wheat from the chaff to almost Biblical proportions.  Jason, Justin, and Jared are not going to be able to deliver Uncle Mike the top rankings, because he hired them to save money and neither he nor they have a holistic clue about digital marketing.  As a result, Uncle Mike and his competitors, who found balanced, objective search vendors and had a good content strategy, will also be separated like wheat from chaff.  Only Uncle Mike won’t be the wheat…

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