A word about Google algorithms
The other day I wrote an article about the aggressive, pain based sales techniques used by some Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) companies and some advice on how business owner /managers can spot them. Well this morning I have received another one; this time promising top 10 placement on Google, but we'll focus on explaining some of the jargon contained within the email as hopefully this will help you make an informed decision.
Here's the email in question and yet again it comes from a Hotmail account:
Your website has become the victim of Google Panda and Penguin update, resulting the down ranking in search engines.
Do you want to see your website in top 10 positions in Google or other major search engines?
Do you want to get more targeted visitors on your website?
Google Panda and Penguin updates are the introduction of new algorithms used to determine a websites Search Engine Ranking Position (SERP), i.e. where you appear on Google, based on a specific search query.
Google Panda was first released in February 2011 and change was aimed to lower the SERP of low-quality sites or thin sites, and return higher-quality sites for search results. This focused on websites using link farms to bolster there position and well optimised sites were not effected.
Google Penguin was unleashed in April, 2012 and aimed at websites that violated Googles Webmaster Guidelines. It focused on websites using declared black-hat SEO techniques and once again focused on backlinks (or links schemes)
Google Mobilegeddon was release with limited warning, in April of this year, although it has to be said the website design industry has been trying to implement Responsive Website Design (RWD) for a while. Google essentially has said that their mobile users a should see good quality, mobile friendly web content and penalises outdated websites that aren't designed for people using smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.
So back to the email in question: their claim is that our site has lost its ranking, well thats a load of rubbish:
As you can see, we're #1 on the natural listing , although there are three of our competitors above our listing that are pay per click, so we have not suffered from either of the algorithms mentioned in the email!
So, if your website wasn't on the first page for the relevant keywords or phrases then you might be fooled by the next paragraph:
Do you want to see your website in Top 10 positions in Google ?
Before engaging an online marketing company, do your due diligence, after all you wouldn't employ anyone without first interviewing the and checking their references, would you?
Businesses that use aggressive marketing should be ignored in the main (in my opinion). If their marketing is aggressive, their approach to business will no doubt be similar. Good businesses have strong brands that don't need such aggressive tactics and the best way to find new suppliers is via an advocate network and / or referral. Find a good quality business network like NRG Business Networks or similar and you'll tap into a readily available resource of suppliers, partners and potentially clients as well.
Its important to be informed and understand what people are selling, so find someone you trust that is a specialist and ask for their advice.
Oh and one last thing, if your target audience uses mobile devices, invest in a Responsive Website Design (RWD) and make sure it complies with Googles mobile friend test as indeed our website does that was originally designed in 2012, ahead of the game.
Note: we're currently re-designing website to ensure it complies with Googles mobile friendly test and would have launched a new website back in 2012, but were just too darned busy!