SMB Owners…Watch Out for One-Upmanship Game by SEO Industry Experts to Protect Your Sanity

Date Published: 8-May-2014 | By: Shane K Morgan

Whenever Google or other search engines make any announcement on any search engine marketing or digital marketing technique, some (so called) experts of the industry try to sensationalize the topic. They write articles in great detail putting their assumptions to become popular and earn brownie points to their name. This has become scarier in the recent past and reached its peak around December, 2013 and January, 2014.

These articles are misleading business owners and some articles are creating wrong perception among business owners that the entire SEO industry is dead. It is time for business owners to understand the reality and watch out for this one-upmanship game that is being played by so called SEO experts.

Manipulative techniques are dead, not the entire SEO industry
Let’s compare the situation of SEO industry with a computer system. A computer system has many software and hardware components. If any of the software applications in your system gets affected by virus, it doesn’t mean that the whole computer is dead. You clean up the virus or depending upon the severity, you may remove the application to protect your system or improve the performance. On the other hand, if so called experts write strongly worded articles advocating to throw your computer system. What would be your respect for such experts?

Unfortunately, the same is happening with the SEO industry also. Like computer system, search engines are also trying to fix or remove the techniques that have become manipulative so that only those websites who are playing fair and are ethical would rank well. While, on the other hand, people have gone berserk and are writing articles and creating wrong perception saying that the search engine optimization is dead. The pattern with such articles is that they are against the spirit of good judgment.

Another sad thing is even search engines’ representatives are also making announcements in a way that only savvy Internet marketer could read through the lines and understand it exactly. Business owners do not have the luxury of time to analyze the changes thoroughly and understand them. This has become an added advantage to people who write their own opinionated content on the topic. The same message goes to the business owners, who get confused and believe that search marketing is dead, which is not true.

Changes are real but they are being presented wrongly
Yes, there are many drastic changes happening in the industry and there is no denying that. It is happening for the good. Search engines are becoming smarter and trying to cut off all the manipulative tactics. But articles are appearing on the Internet in stereotypical ways like article directories are bad, article syndication is bad, guest blogging is dead, link building is dead, etc. However, when we look at them deeper, these techniques are not dead but they are fixed to give better search results.


  • Many people have believed that guest blogging is dead after Matt Cutts (head of web spam, Google) posted ‘The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO’ on his blog. Following this, dozens of articles appeared on Internet saying guest blogging is dead. But in reality guest blogging, that is done for the sake of building links is dead. High quality guest blogging is still a good way for branding, creating exposure and building community. (This is later mentioned in the same blog by Matt Cutts himself). Needless to say it helps in rankings.
  • There are many strongly worded articles on Internet that reiterates that link building is dead. But, links from high quality and relevant sites are essential to improve visibility of website on search engines. After all, link building is web and web is link building. This is also proved by Google’s experiment that search engines cannot deliver better results to its users without link building (high quality). Only low quality link building and link farming is dead.

Likewise most of the changes are being presented wrongly to small and medium business owners. If you believe the stereotyped articles without justification then you would only fall prey for the writers’ desire to become famous.

Time for business owners to understand the reality
Business owners, especially small and medium businesses, are very confused and somewhat scared. It is necessary that you do not get carried away by dozens of alarmist articles. Search engines are only getting more and more complex and good at offering better results to users.

According to a survey conducted by Bright Local on US based businesses, around 20% of leads are generated from SEO, the biggest contributor in online marketing. So, business owners should understand the reality to protect their sanity. Ultimately, low-end SEO is dead but not the entire SEO industry. Low-end SEO work can harm your rankings and damage your lead pipeline. Good SEO work can deliver solid leads to help grow your revenue.

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