Search Engine Marketers Are Feeling a Google Change – Maybe

Search Engine Marketers Are Sensing Big Change in Google RankingsThroughout, we make mention of marketing’s pivotal role in the introduction of new products, such as highly innovative new technologies. It is also important to note that the introduction of innovative products also has ramifications for marketing jobs. In general, when new a technology are introduced marketing employees in existing industries affected by the innovation can expect one of two outcomes: 1) the innovation forces marketers in existing roles to adapt by undertaking new learning or potentially face the unemployment line; or 2) the innovation creates entirely new marketing jobs that did not previously exist.

A recent example of existing roles needing to learn new information and tasks can be seen with salespeople for video display manufacturers.  These salespeople were accustomed to selling cathode ray tube televisions and computer monitors but by the early 2000s they needed to learn the ins-and-outs of technologies behind flat panel televisions.

And for the creation of new types of jobs, there is the evolution of the search engine optimization (SEO) specialist, whose job is to help improve a website’s ranking in search engine results. SEO employment has risen significantly since the early 2000s when perceptive online marketers first realized that certain factors affecting search engine listing could be addressed through changes to a website. Since then the SEO industry has thrived with thousands of companies and individuals claiming they can help others achieve high search rankings. And in the world of SEO, this means achieving high rankings in Google, where nearly 70% of worldwide Internet searching occurs.

Almost every company offering SEO pitch their services by saying they can help a client achieve higher rankings on a Google search. While the claims of many SEO specialists seem impressive to those unfamiliar with search marketing, the fact is, no one can guarantee high rankings. What those in SEO can do is suggest changes that will make a website, or more specifically individual pages within a site, more attractive to search engines but they cannot guarantee top ranking.

The main reason high rankings cannot be guaranteed is that, while Google offers general guidelines for improving rankings, there are many, many other factors that they do not discuss that impact search results. For instance, they use over 200 factors (“clues”) within their proprietary algorithm to determine rankings with some factors having more impact than others. It is these other factors that have helped create the SEO market as these analysts offer their “best guess” as to what it takes to do well on Google search. The problem is Google algorithms are fluid.  What some SEO gurus say is working today may not work the next time the ingredients in the Google search algorithm change.

And as reported in this story from Target Marketing Magazine, an example of the fluid nature of the Google search algorithm may be playing out now. Several SEO specialists are reporting some evidence of a shift in Google search results. Whether this truly is an significant change for how Google ranks sites is any SEO’s guess as the search giant is mum on the issue.

Yet, SEO folks love it when Google adjusts the factors that impact search results. It gives those in SEO another reason to return to clients and once again offer ways to improve their search results. But, again, whether they actually know the factors impacting results is often less about them really understanding and often more about them making an educated guess.

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