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SEO 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 gone? 

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 today. The 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 display video?
  • What about the fact that search engines grade keyword phrases on a curve? 
    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 the class.
  • 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 future. 

SEO Changes:

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 aware. 

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. 

It has 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 nonsense." 
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 your attention.

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 it sounds:

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 results. 

But the ranking reports will become completely non-discernable and a useless indicator of your Web site's visibility.

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. 

Watch for signs of this in the future

How could your rankings seem to be soaring but your sales die?

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 completely stumped.

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:

Traditionally, 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 back button.

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 landscapes.

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

Enjoy the Best SEO Educational Resources - at a very affordable price!
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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

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