A lot has happened in the SEO world in 2013 and as usual much of it can be attributed to Google. In May of this year Google released Penguin 2.0, which targeted spammy link building practices and affected 2.3 percent of searches. In September Google announced the introduction of Hummingbird, its largest algorithm update since 2010.
Although updates from Google are done with the intent to produce better search results for users, they often send SEOs into a frenzy. A sudden drop in rankings is a good excuse to panic, but a good SEO shouldn’t be hit too hard by an update from Google if they’ve followed Google’s best practices. In fact, an increase in rankings can be noticed if higher ranking sites are hit by the update or yours becomes more favorable.
Recently we’ve watched a lot of sites fluctuate in rankings, but according to Matt Cutts, Google’s head of Web Spam, we shouldn’t expect to see any major changes from Google for the next few months. Hopefully this down time will give websites a chance to settle into their respective places.
Some may say SEO is dead and that investing in it is a waste of time and money, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Those who say this are referring to the days when SEOs could purchase links, post blog comments to build links, and share the same piece of content again and again without getting penalized. Such SEO tactics are certainly dead, but new ones have emerged and Google approves them.
Because Google is continually making updates to its algorithm, one of the first expectations you should have for the SEO company you hire is for them to have a full understanding of Google’s best SEO practices. How do you know if an SEO company follows Google’s latest trends and standards? It’s simple: check their blogging efforts to see if they’re talking about it or ask them what they do to abide by Google’s rules.
Other things to expect from your SEO company include quality link building and the production of fresh, quality content. Do some research on what is now considered quality links and content because it’s changed quite a bit in the last few years. On-site SEO is equally important and this includes title tags and efficient navigation.
Patience is a must with SEO and you shouldn’t expect to have your desired results within a month of hiring someone. Any SEO company that promises immediate high rankings is lying unless they’re using shady SEO tactics – in which case your ranking will be temporary because Google will penalize you.