Google have just updated their Webmaster guidelines and the entire SEO community is abuzz with what this will mean for companies going forward. Most especially people are concerned that they could be penalised for stuff they did in the past catching up with them anytime soon. The main changes appear to be that the following are all now frowned upon;
- Text advertisements that pass PageRank
- Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links that pass PageRank
- Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites. For example: There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to have a wedding, you will have to pick the best ring. You will also need to buy flowers and a wedding dress.
So where does that leave SEO companies? Well, right now there are many of them back pedalling furiously, however, the answer is to start from where you should have started in the first place. A quality Digital Marketing Plan, as part of a fully integrated Marketing Plan. If you’re not sure what that looks like then start here and look at this site and hopefully it will give you at least some of the questions you need to be asking your SEO firm about their strategy.
For our part we are carrying on with more of the same; the strategy has been to continue to build and promote sites as if Google didn’t exist. Let’s just pretend the most important person in all this is the customer and then when they arrive on your site there’s a much better chance they will buy from you. Because one day Google won’t exist as we know it, but customers will still be customers.