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  • Diana Schneidman

A better way than organic Google search?

It’s impossible for a small or even mid-size business to implement an optimization program that will use Google to grow its business in any meaningful way.

First, artificial intelligence increases the number of links competing for the top slots of each search. Second, the use of any clear-cut technique to improve rank is downgraded as keyword stuffing or gray hat or whatever. Third, incoming links and external “votes” of various types may improve rankings, but a small business cannot generate enough of these links to compete among a much larger number of competitors without a substantial time investment and probably paid staffing—and even that might not do the trick.

People who need search traffic to support their business will get fed up with the uncertainty of Google. So they will turn to paid traffic. In other words, Pay Per Click (PPC).

The newest algorithms are the perfect solution to monetizing Google more aggressively. In the artificial algorithms used in the free rankings, every word means every other word that is even in the same neighborhood. Therefore, results are less keyed to the user’s specific keyword than in the past. The only place where a site’s chosen keyword corresponds directly with the user’s chosen search term is in PPC, where the advertiser is paying to have the ad posted when a user searches that same keyword.

As more businesses and professionals resort to paying for PPC, the cost per click will increase. PPC will become ever more expensive.

This means you have to use PPC in a really smart way to justify the cost. You have to capture each site visitor and build a list. You have to use an autoresponder service to send the right sales emails to the right customers. You have to offer products of varying price points. The average lifetime expenditure per name must be rather high so you don’t lose money. This is a demanding process to master, requiring much more than the Law of Attraction and unfocused chatter on social media.

The chirpy woman whose webinar I listened to is in the wrong business. In the long run, her paying students may think they are learning something useful, but she has no lessons that will assure the SEO success of her students. Students will eventually become disillusioned and drop out. Some will realize that Google is not structured to support their success without their paying a PPC “tax.” Others will lose steam and assume the problem is their own lack of perseverance and negative “money mindset.”

It will be continually more difficult for the little person to compete through SEO. Sure, there will always be a few exceptions. However, a lot of people will spend a lot of money on marketing that does not work out for them.

On a related topic, today I listened to a teleseminar on how to use Facebook. The speaker went through a long list of time-consuming marketing activities: grow your list of friends, group your friends so different categories get different messages, post 80% friendly chatter to make the 20% sales copy less apparent, etc.

After all these instructions, she adds that Facebook offers opportunities for sponsored (paid) content that makes paid posts more visible and her listeners should considered spending money on it.

Got that? For all the time and effort Facebook eats up, the surest path to success is paying money for prime placement.

I’m all for the writing of better content. Down the road, this “better content” may attract readers through human-based channels but I don’t see how it will contribute to optimization in a strategic, dependable way.

Here’s a link to an interesting article (and comments). It’s slightly off-topic in relation to my post but the theme is relevant: Google Sucks All the Way to the Bank.

Originally posted 12-19-12

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