Taking a look back at SEO in 2005...
2005 was a great year for Search.
But What Does That Mean For You? How does the progress made in 2005 affect YOUR business?
A quick recap of 2005
2005 could be called the Year of the "Black Hat"/ "White Hat" Controversy. One thing is for certain though – no matter what color your hat is - ethical optimization tactics are what the long term, big picture thinkers should go for.
2005 brought some outrage at Google. They had to deal with the backlash of angry searchers fearing that Google was sacrificing the relevancy they are known and loved for, in exchange for profits.
People rallied against the Black Hatters that infiltrated the search results. Jagger proved to rid the SERPs of spam-filled, software generated sites, so that the "White Hatters" didn't have to compete with the "Black Hatters" (at least for now).
Most importantly, what happened in 2005 was that public awareness of SEO increased. More people are optimizing their sites and realizing the immense potential of organic search.
As the Big 3 duked it out for an increase in market share – the winners were:
Searchers, looking to find information, resources and products to buy.
Clearly the exposure Search has received and the increased numbers of people using Search has benefited companies like you – who are looking to get their information/product/service out there into the hungry consumers' hands.
Call us at 714-612-8066 to talk about the opportunïty for your site.
Search has become such a giant that it even has mammoth retailer Wal-Mart scared!
"We watch Google very closely at Wal-Mart," said Jim Breyer, a member of Wal-Mart's board.
Their concern? Google makes so much information readily available; Google might soon be able to tell Wal-Mart shoppers if there are better bargains online, or at other nearby retailers.
As Google continues to gain popularity, and is used as the starting point for finding information and buying products and services online, companies that previously didn't worry about Google, now view Google as a threat to their business or even a potential competitor.
Wouldn't you love your site to be one of the sites listed in Google that has big retail chains scared for their future?
Consider the opportunïty that exists today, with the engines gaining popularity, and more and more people getting online. The traffïc your site can tap into is growing daily. Websites that use aggressive and ethical SEO have everything to gain. Click here to learn more about Search and how you can benefit.
Another exciting event in 2005: Blogs made a grand entrance into the mainstream and changed the way people share information, photos and communications. Blogs opened up interactivity between website owners and online surfers (potential clients). Blogs created new opportunïty for site owners to cast their nets wider and gather more potential visitors.
Looking forward to 2006, what can we expect?
Consensus at the Search Engine Strategies Conference (SES) that took place in Chicago in early December is that SEO is not a bubble that is about to burst; and we can expect the search engine industry to continue to grow and evolve. Plan on continuing to invest in your website's search engine rankings. Search will remain an important source of traffïc for websites, and a crucial element in your marketing plan.
What is the best way to participate in the growth and evolution of Search and to ensure you are getting a piece of the action?
To answer that question, you have to consider the following:
The landscape of SEO is changing almost daily.
Which makes hiring an SEO professional more crucial than ever before. It is becoming even more obvious that a novice can't get the results they want and need in the SERPs. Danny Sullivan, respected SEO expert and keynote speaker at SES, as well as many other experts in the field note that you need real expertise (or a whole lot of time) to get a high organic ranking in today's search world.
The Do's and Don'ts of SEO for 2006...
Have hidden text on your web pages (especially text that is hidden in invisible CSS layers)
Have paid links or other links that are not within Google's quality guidelines
Overuse internal links or anchor text within your optimization
Steal other people's copy – the engines vow to determine the original source of content and not let stolen content benefit the thieves
Optimize your site yourself unless you are sure you are 100% clear on all steps and guidelines, and have a lot of time
Panic if you aren't in the engines yet, it's not too late to get in the game
Follow best practices – stay within the engines' guidelines
Avoid Overkill – keep the "nature theory" in mind
Add relevant keyword rich content. Remember the creation of original and quality content is where it's at
Hire a professional that is willing to share information with you, one that won't hide their techniques. SEO is a team effort -- you need to listen to your SEO Company and they need to understand your goals and objectives.
Take action now, and don't watch your competitors horde all the traffïc.
Keep your eye on the news: We can definitely expect to hear more about Google's patent for user targeted, or attention targeted, search results which will change the ranking of Google's organic results for each individual user, based upon that user's search behavior, location, sites visited, etc.
This means as the search engines do more to profile searchers, they will be able to manipulate or control results. This one will be interesting to watch play out, and will require feedback from searchers, companies using Search as a marketing method and SEO experts.
The future of links:
Links are still an important component to an SEO campaign. Links were devalued temporarily as the engines realized there was too much manipulation going on. However, with recent algorithm shifts, we now know that links are still important – as long as you follow the rules. Links must be relevant – there is nothing more important than this. Links must also be attained in reasonable quantities in reasonable timeframes. There is still controversy out there about one way versus reciprocal links. Recent and surprising articles and studies have shown that reciprocal links may not be all bad – as long as they are extremely relevant and not part of a link farm or mass linking effort. The bottom line on links is as the Black Hats find ways to beat the system, the engines will change the criteria and you can expect this to continue evolving throughout 2006 and beyond.
Plans for 2006
As Organic search grows and the search industry continues to evolve plan to devote a lot of time to staying current. Or - better yet – hire an expert that will do this for you. Free yourself up to do what you do best, run your business and leave the links, algorithm shifts and all of the other SEO techniques to the experts. Call us at 714-612-8066 to discuss how we can help you get the growth and exposure your site needs in 2006.
When talking to an SEO Firm, remember the SEO experts you hire need to be:
Accessible to you
Willing to show you samples of their work
Not only allow but encourage your involvement in the process, especially in keyword selection
Willing to share their techniques and not insist they have "proprietary info and methods"
Able to analyze your site and tell you realistically what results you should expect
"Clients will say, 'I want to be found for 'homes,' and they'll find an SEO who'll say 'Okay, we can do that,' even though there's no way they can do that." Says Jill Whalen, SES presenter and respected SEO expert. Jill went on to say, "It's unfortunate that many SEO companies aren't honest and say 'No, we can't do that — and it's not necessarily what you really want us to do."
SEO Challenge 2006:
Make 2006 the year you get serious about your business. Commit to a Search Engine Optimization Campaign and make this the year you overtake your competitors and grow your online business to unbelievable levels.
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