Changes - Are Your Sales Dropping as Your SEO Rankings "Soar high?"
By John Alexander
Have you heard the various
voices in the last year proclaiming that SEO is now dead and
Rest assured SEO is not dead.
Have you heard some people say that legitimate white
hat search engine optimization is now dead with the coming of Web
2.0 and Social Media Marketing? You'll notice these types of
pitches from Marketers who are usually selling you some new
e-book. Social Media is cool but it is completely different
than traditional SEO. Rest assured that while everything changes, search engine
optimization and search engine marketing are far from being dead. I am happy to
say search marketing is still very much alive and well and
healthier than ever.
In the world of search engine marketing, you do need to keep up
to date. But keeping up to date does not always mean that it
needs to be stressful. There are ways to take advantage and
prepare for changes and even take advantage of coming changes, if
you can first understand what they are and only if you are aware that they are coming.
Future SEO Changes On the Horizon:
There are a lot of changes just on the horizon right now that will
modify the traditional SEO process as many think of it
way things are done now, are not the way they were done in
the past. Nor shall the way things are being done now, remain the
same processes as ways of the future. It's about to change
and evolve again once more.
Fear of Change:
While some people become nearly overwhelmed with
"fear of change," I learned very early in my SEO
journey that you
seriously must learn to "embrace change," because
"change" is never your enemy. Any industry that shifts so frequently
actually offers tremendous advantages and benefits (to those who know how to keep up.) In fact
a major advantage is yours because you can know how to keep up, where many will not.
Some will not even be aware of what is going on let alone
understand how to implement solutions to solve it.
So what kind of changes do you think are in store for the future?
- Will social marketing or Web 2.0 completely wipe out
traditional SEO as some marketers would have you believe?
- What effect will video have on search as results begin to
- What about the fact that search engines grade keyword phrases on a
It's true, not all keywords are graded equally but they are industry
influenced as well. This is not new information for anyone
who engages in good research but for many students of SEO,
it is real "eye-opener" when we teach on it in
- Or maybe some new Blogging convention will be introduced
that will make blogging the ultimate new model.
Of course anybody at all can
make their predictions and speculate, but the fact is, nobody can
exactly predict the future. At Search Engine Workshops, we do not even try to make
future "predictions." However, what we can do is observe
certain things that are happening "in the now" and
we've become fairly satisfactory at anticipating trends that
will increase in the
Let's talk about one of the biggest changes that we
anticipate. Before I just tell you what is happening, I want
hopefully raise your awareness with Part 1 of this article.
The scenario I am going to describe may sound pretty
shocking, but my intention is to simply make you
What I am describing is not happening quickly but it is
coming very slowly and
subtly. First you need to be aware of it, because many
people won't be. We need to understand it thoroughly,
because many will not know what in the world is happening.
This is just one change that may actually separate SEO
novices from the SEO professionals who have been
structurally trained in search marketing skills.
already started to happen and we anticipate it will only
increase from here on in. Whether or not you choose to
recognize it or whether or not you even agree with me is not
the point. The point is you will have an awareness of
exactly what changes are going on so you won't be in a state
of panic about it.
Part 1 of this article is not about the solutions to the
challenge, it is just meant to make you aware of the changes
at hand. Part 2 will go more into detail about the facts and
reasoning which is pretty fascinating.
First I'm going to briefly describe a scenario for you. I
fully expect that some readers will completely reject the
following scenario. I am expecting that. For past graduate
students reading this or have attended our Workshops
previously, you know the effectiveness of what we teach from
your own experience.
Some readers will think in terms of "Come on,
John...its never been this way before - what a load of
Some readers may think that I've lost my mind and
unsubscribe from our newsletter or Free
SEO Tip of the Day.
At least we'll have done our best to bring SEO changes to
Then there will certainly be a some out there, who will know
exactly what I am describing.
If Part 1 makes you aware, then Part 2 coming soon will
reveal more about what is actually happening.
So let's take a few minutes to
give you a scenario that could become quite familiar with
more and more Web sites and you may have even noticed small
incremental changes already beginning to happen to you right
now. Some will not even notice anything at all, but if you
see the symptoms with your sales, then you'll know that this
is one possibility of what is happening. Be aware.
Here's the Scenario:
Keep an open mind and let me paint the scenario for you, as crazy as
This is not some joke or some cute experiment in social
media. It's about the day when your ranking reports will become
obsolete. In fact you may one day check your rankings and
see your pages are still showing up well in the very top search
But the ranking reports will become completely
non-discernable and a useless indicator of your Web site's
Think about a time not to far off when,
according to your ranking reports your visibility may soar higher
than ever. After all you are not doing anything you should
not be. Your site has had good rankings for years so why
should this have happened? It does not make any sense at all
but your sales are mysteriously falling flat
dead. You notice something is wrong with your sales and yet
you can not understand the reasoning.
"This is just crazy Nonsense!," you think to yourself. So you decide
to run your reports
again for dozens of your top performing phrases. To your
complete amazement you can't see anything wrong at all. You are solidly ranking number 1 for the
most competitive and important money phrases and for all your
important keyword terms.
Everything looks wonderful but the problem
remains that your sales have come to a stop.
Note: What I am describing here are the beginning symptoms
of a change that has completely snuck up on you. Also be
aware that there are other reasons why your sales may be
slow beside this change, but I'm giving you the more unusual
elements of a specific change that will eventually affect
all of us, but to many it will appear like a huge mystery.
for signs of this in the future
How could your rankings seem to be soaring but your
Nothing like this has ever happened before. You call you search marketing firm
and they tell you they have never dealt with anything like
this before. In these times, many SEOs will scramble to try and
figure out what is happening. You will think it is
impossible to improve in ranking any more than
number 1 for your best phrases. But in these times
SEOs are noticing that this phenomena is occurring
all over the place.
You think to yourself, maybe my Webmaster did
something wrong to get me banned? No, that's not it because
you tried searching for your site and your pages are coming up
just fine 3 out
of 4 times in the top results. The ranking report says you
are being found in number 1 spot, AND you saw it for yourself.
Yet why has your business and sales come to a
halt? No sales. So you look at your analytics and the nightmare
of all nightmares is confirmed - you are getting no
real traffic. You were comfortable getting maybe
8,000 to 10,000 visits per day, but now it is dwindling down
to just a few hundred or maybe none at all. Your successful Web visibility seems to be
there, but all of the money you've been making
online comes to a complete halt and you are
You finally think to
yourself, "I guess that SEO is finally dead." It
has finally died and there is no way to measure your
rankings because your ranking reports are not reliable and
ranking seems to no longer matter.
On the contrary, SEO is not dead. You may shrug this
scenario off, but it is not science fiction. It is happening
in the now. Very slowly and very subtly and it will continue
to grow more prevalent. More about what is actually
happening in the next article.
Let's look back at a bit of history with search:
SEO was all about gaining higher rankings for the
most important keyword phrases. That was early in
the game and back then, some people believed that
was ALL you needed. After all if you show up number one for
the best keywords then you must become a winner. But then as search engine marketing evolved, people learned
that it was not enough just to have top rankings for
the right key phrases, but we learned the importance
of being able to provide content that compelled the
visitor to take action. No one benefits if they click
on your number 1 page and just leave again by clicking the
More and more search engines began to reward Webmasters who
created in depth, high quality content that served a useful
purpose and actually satisfied the reason why the searchers
initiated the search in the first place. It still amazes me
when I hear people trying to decipher some kind of secret
coding when Matt Cutts talks. Hmmm, I wonder what Matt
really means when he talk about quality content," they
puzzle. He is simply telling you the truth. Google can
recognize the context of a message through Artificial
Intelligence. Write content that is written well for a human
reader and you will be rewarded with some relevancy.
Let's not forget the advent of the Pay Per Click
process which was a pretty big trend when it was
first introduced at the time
too. I remember some people saying that they
would never do Pay Per Click, but it evolved into what it
has become today. A well accepted form of paid advertising.
Your job as an SEO
professional is to keep up to date in an ever changing
environment and keep your self apprised of current and
future trends. You want to keep yourself aware of what is coming next
because that way, you'll always be able to assist your customers with
up to date skills and advantages regardless of the changing search
In next week's article, I am going to give you a peek at the
reasons why the above scenario will happen someday if it is
not happened to you yet. You can be aware of what to watch
for. For those who are noticing these trends already
happening then be aware that we do teach detailed solutions
specifically on these issues in our SEO
Workshops and our local Search
Engine Academy training centers.
Visit here for Part 2: The Day When Your Rankings Soar But
Your Sales Die
the Best SEO Educational Resources - at a very
Access a wealth of SEO resources, live instructional Webinars,
Basic and Advanced SEO self-study courses and access over 1000
pages of detailed
strategies by Robin Nobles and John Alexander in a community
of SEO Professionals.
About John Alexander
John Alexander is Co-director of Training at Search
Engine Workshops offering live, SEO Workshops with his
partner SEO educator Robin Nobles, author of the very first
comprehensive online search engine marketing courses. John is author of an
e-book called Wordtracker
Magic and has
taught SEO skills to people from 87 different countries world
wide. John is also Director of Search
Engine Academy with localized Search Engine Academy
training centers where the Complete SEO Mastery Workshop and 6
Month Mentoring program is taught locally to business
owners and individuals in
communities across North America and
Internationally in Asia.
Click here to go back to the
index of search engine marketing articles
This work is licensed
under a Creative Commons License.
We'll keep you advised on all of our future
training dates the moment things are firmed up.
Simply enter your name and e-mail in the box below.
what other dates and locations are still available
Search Engine Marketing Workshops | Site Map | Affiliate Program
Policy | Terms of
© 2008 SearchEngineWorkshops.com. All
rights reserved. Duplication or reproduction
of the contents of this web
site, including, but not limited to, content, graphics and
source code, is
prohibited without expressed written consent by