If you’ve been paying attention to the SEO landscape in the past few years, it has been nothing short of a bloodbath. Let’s face it. It used to be very easy to make a lot of money on the internet. All you needed to do is to get high quality keywords that advertisers will pay a lot of money for and which didn’t have much competition. The secret to all this, of course, was in selecting keywords that actually get a decent volume of searches. A lot of this information can be found by simply typing the keyword into Google and seeing the number that Google reports as competing pages. In terms of commercial value of these keywords, all you needed to do was used Google’s keyword tool or its latest version in Google Adwords. The same goes with search volume. To rank, all you needed to do was create lots of profiles using Web 2.0 sources, article websites, guest blog posts, and, of course, buying links from other sites.
Well, thanks to Panda, Google Penguin 2.1 and Google Hummingbird they have destroyed the gravy train of SEO spam. Spammers have to work much harder for their bread and butter. The real thing that spammers fear is hard work. Hard work costs money. Hard work involves quality and quality costs money. There are a lot of ways people can build quality backlinks but they all involves spending money and this is the main hurdle that face SEO spammers. They want to make money by investing the least amount of resources as possible. In other words, they want to maximize their ROI. This is not surprising. Any businessman wants to maximize their ROI. Unfortunately, many of these shady entrepreneurs still believe that making money online is a fairly low capital undertaking. In other words, they are no longer responding to the market realities of modern SEO. Thanks to Google’s increasing emphasis on quality, you have to continuously be conscious about how you build your links and your overall brand.
In terms of SEO trans for 2014, we can only see one thing: it will be a continuation of Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s emphasis on branding. He’s been on the record along with the head of Google’s web spam team Matt Cutts as pushing for brands. Schmidt and Matt Cutts couldn’t emphasized it enough, Google is interested in solid brands. Unfortunately, SEO spammers have always been looking for shortcuts around brands. They’re not interested in long term relationship with any users. They’re not interested in producing content that build authority and credibility. In other words, they want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to put in as little as possible and get as much out of Google as possible. Well, those days are over.
Google has the technological means to cut down shortcuts that short circuit the way people should get backlinks naturally and build online credibility – building quality websites. So, there are a lot of contradictory advise online, especially among many SEO blogs. Some even say that good content is not good enough. Well, the truth is Google is increasing its emphasis on authorship and legitimate link building. In other words, it’s no longer gonna screw around with paid links, spammy backlink building, using automated sources and low quality link sources. In fact, Google’s ace in the hole is its Disavow tool. It has release that Disavow tool and it is being use to crowd source bad link sources all over the internet. Its only a matter of time for Google to use this massive data base to truly crackdown on all the web spam in its index, a massive uses of this database. We have not seen the end of Google Penguin. If you thought 2.1 was bad, wait until you see its successors.
So, where do you go from here? Very simple. Build real relationships, use real content, become an expert, focus on specific niches. In other words, do what Google has always been saying you should do. Unfortunately, many spammers think that there is always a quick and easy way or a shortcut to making online riches. That may have been true 5 years ago, but its no longer gonna be true in 2014 and going forward. It’s gonna get much harder and harder. It’s going to be very difficult to cheat. Of course, there’s a lot of money on the table to incentivize people to always try to find the shortcut but it’s going to be a cat and mouse game and it will be played on Google’s terms.
So, now is as good a time as any to start getting on the quality bandwagon and start building a real solid online brand. How do you build a solid online content? Very simple. Look for a niche and become an authority in that niche. Turn your website into the end all and be all resource for that particular niche. Sure, you should use the old SEO tactics of finding high value niches with search terms that get searched a lot which have low competition. By all means, use those tactics but build a credible resource. This is the part many SEO spammers miss. They just look at those keyword list as a means to an end. The end is quick riches.
Well, the days of making quick money online are soon to be over. Making money online will be just like making money offline. It takes conscious effort, it takes a lot of planning, it takes a lot of integrity and it will take some capital. It will not get as crazy as brick and mortar businesses when it comes to capital resources but you will have to shell out money.