As yet another search quality update rolls out, this one called Penguin, the chattering classes have been busy discussing what to do about nasty Mr Google dropping their sites from the top ten rankings. I'm not Google's biggest fan but I can totally see where they are coming from and how, ultimately, they needed to do something dramatic.
The recriminations are flying around, SEO companies are taking flack and businesses are suffering. But wait a minute, surely website owners knew their SEO company was doing some dodgy stuff on their behalf didn't they? Or was it they turned a convenient blind eye so long as the business kept rolling in.
Cries of, this isn't fair, or I didn't know what my SEO company were doing are bullshit. Companies knew fine well what was going on and if they didn't they are even more ridiculous nd obviously don't care about their brand. Well enough of this crying over spilt milk, the days of easy SEO have gone, it's time to roll up your sleeves and build a better mousetrap.
"If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods." Ralph Waldo Emerson.
At first glance this sounds like the 'build it and they will come' mantra from the early days of the web. Something that was superseded by the idea that having a great website in and of itself was not enough, because people couldn't find it.
The thing is today, there's more than one way to skin a cat (I know, metaphor overload in this post). Today if you create something genuinely useful there are plenty of ways to get it in front of a few sneezers and leave the rest to the social web. I'm not writing Google off, far from it, but getting your message out there no longer relies on seedy link buying etc, today you can get genuine links by having something worth linking to, I know, how mad is that!
Anyway, enough for now. There are clients a plenty beating a path to my door and I've got some real work to do.