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The end of organic SEO and Google’s trust problem

One of the easiest ways to do SEO up until fairly recently is to look under the hood of your site and take a look at your stats. One part of your statistics will show what kind of keywords your visitors used to find your site. What’s so special about this? Plenty. First, you will be able to see which keywords go with which pages and which keywords are the most popular. Consequently, you can build more pages that fit the type that gets searched more. In other words, you’re replicating your site’s strongest pages and can scale up traffic by making more pages like them. Second, you can figure out which keywords you’re attracting and optimize your pages further so you can get more traffic from these keywords. Finally, you can use the organic traffic information to get ideas on which keywords to buy from Adwords’ PPC campaigns. Well, Google’s recent changes put an end to all this. Now, your stats will show that the keyword query information from Google is not disclosed. Now, you’ll be flying blind if you want to optimize based on organic terms from your site stats since this information will be withheld from you by Google. You can try an indirect method by basing your decisions on Bing search queries but the sampling might be so small as to produce unreliable conclusions.

Why is Google doing this? Simple-it doesn’t trust most web publishers. No offense, of course, but business is business. As long as Google is able to pump millions of traffic to sites each and every day, it Big G will always have a bright red target on its back for scammers and spammers. No wonder it is taking proactive steps to keep people from gaming their research results by taking away stat-based data. The biggest farce is that Google sincerely believes that it is making the Internet a better place by taking web publishers’ data away and pushing publishers to take shots in the dark. This strategy assumes that web publishers are Google’s enemies and are hellbent on producing only garbage web pages. This is not true. There are many honest web publishers out there that produce high quality content and need to do SEO so they can get compensated for their efforts. It appears that Google is still operating from assumptions forged back in the stage of the Internet’s development where early adopters though ‘data should be free.’ Well, good content takes effort to produce. It isn’t cheap. There are serious costs to researching, producing, and maintaining good content. By boosting their traffic through organic SEO good content publishers can offset their costs and further improve Google’s index. But Google isn’t hearing any of this.

Another laughable assumption implicit in Google’s posture is the ridiculous idea of ‘if you build it, they will come.’ Sure. Right. This might work for the baseball movie, Fields of Dreams, but in the real world, you need to publicize your site by linking to it from other sites and hitting social media for your site to have any chance of getting traction. People have to hear about your site. Also, even the best quality content takes a long time to get a following. Given the costs of quality content, many web publishers might not have the luxury of waiting too long. Hence, the need for organic SEO to shorten the period when their investment will be recouped.

Will Google really have a cleaner and better index if it kept publishers in the dark and keep up its level of distrust of publishers? Only time will tell. Sadly, for most publishers, they don’t have much choice since Google is the biggest player in the search market. If they want to play the game, they have to dance to Google’s tune. It will be a long drawn out, uncertain, and even expensive game to play for many publishers.

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