The Internet has evolved to a point that larger society, and consumers in particular, don’t really view a company as ‘legitimate’ or ‘credible’ if they dont’ find them online. In an increasingly wired and always on mobile world, credibility in the real or brick and mortar world is fast being linked with credibility in the online world. And this is precisely the problem many tech startups are having. Many don’t have enough capitalization and many don’t have much in terms of a solid web presence. As a result, many find themselves on the losing end of Google’s recent algorithm and system changes.
From Panda to Penguin to Hummingbird, Google has changed the rules of the SEO game so much that many of the old tried and proven plays resorted to by startups of yore no longer work. You can no longer take some of your seed funding and hire an SEO company to build links for you. Thanks to Penguin, your results just won’t be there. Google is looking for interaction and meaning beyond keywords. The problem with this is that it leaves many SEO companies out on the lurch and they are left grasping at straws. As a result, many otherwise awesome startups don’t have much reach. Why is this bad news? These startups might be on the cusp of truly awesome technology that can change people’s lives for the good but since they can barely be found online, their reach is barely noticeable.
Since their reach is rather weak, they attract less investment money. See the downward spiral? In fact, it can be an outright death spiral.
Google’s recent moves might be great for search consumers but there might be a lot of unintended consequences. Just as the CIA probably didn’t intend the Ayatollah to rise in Iran when it reinstalled the Shah in Persia in the 1950s, right? Blowback-it’s not just a theory. It is real and it happens all the time in technology. The conspiracy nut in me might even be persuaded to think these Google moves and their unforeseen effects are intentional. Perhaps.