It’s Google’s game.
Sure, we professional search marketers for a time will get the upper hand for a short amount of time by way of rankings, then Google will strike us down. Or should I better phrases it, knock our rankings down a few notches in order for us to yet again go back in an evaluate what makes Google tick.
Sometimes, this “game” is fun to play. Especially when you’re beating Google. But that victory won’t last long. For as any successful business knows, you always have to be improving your product, even if all that means is to slap another number on it, or call it a different name.
The key to search has always been about links. Google touts that they want “quality content”. Sure they do – that way they can sell ads on it once your great content has been scraped and “spun” by autoblogs all over the web.
With the Panda update, Google has protected brands by letting their content remain unpenalized. Back in the day, the web was the great frontier. It used to be about the “little guy” being able to rise up and compete with the giants online. Those days are over, thanks to Google.
You see, Google knows the big brands will continue to spend money in order to keep their online brand awareness up. It’s a vicious cycle of business that always repeats itself, it will just look different, and utilize different companies as participants.
So where does all of this leave the small business person? Google dangles their Places listing as a free way to get your company online. The trade-off is all your information fed into Google’s data centers for them to profit and monetize on. Sure, the top four businesses that appear will enjoy those rankings, but everyone else will get almost nothing. And, a business doesn’t just “appear” there by accident. They most likely hired someone like me to get them there – and it’s at no small cost.
As Benjamin Franklin once said – “Time is Money.” That applies to almost all of us. We have to sacrifice time with our family in order to work for something that may or may not pay off in the end. All the while Google and Facebook take the content we produce and in turn profit from it.
“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.” – Patrick Henry