A Look Back
With the recent growth that Pole Position Web has experienced it got me to thinking about where things started six years ago. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as an industry is still in its infancy and while it has changed tremendously over the years it has also remained relatively unchanged at its core.
SEO can be loosely defined as the manipulation of a web site to achieve top rankings in the natural algorithmic results of the search engines. The evolution of SEO has turned it into more of a marketing industry to include tracking of ROI (return on investment) and placing paid advertisements within the search engine sponsored results via PPC (pay-per-click) ads, among other things, along with achieving top rankings through web site manipulation.
Methodology for optimizing and promoting sites has changed over the years. Many (and I am embarrassed to admit, myself included) turned to SPAM techniques as a means to try and trick the search engines. Even today many still employ such techniques (proudly, I can say Pole Position Web does not) for limited success, without considering the long term implications and instead go for the possible cheap short term benefit.
A Look Ahead
When looking for an SEO its easy to find those who guarantee results for only a couple of hundred dollars. And no doubt they can, but again, its only a short term gain. In the long run the damage to your site can be immensurable in time and dollars. Due to our own past spamming, Pole Position Web had at one time been thrown out of Google. That was when we cleaned up our act for both our own site and our clients and started looking to develop optimization strategies that focus on the long term benefits for our clients.
Does quality optimization and marketing take more effort than creating cookie-cutter doorway pages (or whatever they are calling them these days)? Yes. Does quality cost more? Sure. Is it worth the extra investment? Absolutely. Instead of looking for a quick fix the focus is now on long-term success.
And that is where SEO remains unchanged. Good optimization techniques rely not on trickery or trying to fool engines, its still about (or is again about) providing quality sites and content to both the viewer and the search engine. Can you please both? Not always in every circumstance, but most of the time, yes, you can. Again, it takes a bit more time and effort to create quality sites that are relevant to the viewer and the search engine, and to get ahead of the competition for the more competitive phrases, but the investment is well worth it.
One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that many people want to make money via the web, but very few are willing to put forward the investment. I’m no different. It took me six years to pay for a professional web design, but looking back I wish I had made that investment much sooner. While many are willing to pay good money to have their site professionally designed, they are less willing to put much money into online marketing. This is a mistake.
When it comes down to ROI, optimization is one of, if not THE most cost efficient and effective forms of driving traffic and producing sales via the web. As I stated above, you can always find the guys who will “guarantee” results for a small amount of money, but if you want to present quality to both the visitor and the search engines while achieving long-term success you’ll have to decide what you are willing to invest to succeed.
Online marketing and web site optimization are moving forward. Are you?