Does SEO Really Work?
Many years of abuse by internet marketing companies has lead to a mistrust of companies that offer SEO as a service. This was essentially an exploitation of the lack of understanding by most business owners as far as the way search engine optimization was accomplished, and the practices that tricked Google in the past. The algorithm that Google uses to rank websites grew more intelligent over the years, mostly due to the continual need to change it in order to adapt to methods that SEO companies were using in order to get higher rankings. The goal of Google was to provide the best websites for a specific search, but the goals of the SEO companies were to get their clients to rank higher, even if they were not the best. Google needed to continually change the algorithm in order to push down the websites that were using tactics that gained higher rankings without being the best for people who were using Google. Eventually, this always results in the websites that have been pushed up by these methods to lose their positions, sometimes being removed from Google all together. If this was a website owned by a business who employed an SEO company to get them higher rankings, they were probably very rightfully upset when they discovered one day that they were pushed down in the rankings, never to recover. If the business gained customers from the Google positions they had achieved, this can be devastating. Many times, the business owners had no idea that the tactics being used by the SEO company could result in this kind of damage. Unfortunately, there is usually little that can be done to recover once this has happened.
Why Are Some SEO Companies Bad?
SEO companies are businesses that function like any other business. They are hired to preform a service and provide specific things. The problem is that they are ultimately hired “to get higher rankings,” instead of “to provide the kinds of things that will get higher rankings,” and that leads to them potentially doing things that can get the website into trouble. There are many tactics that were used in the past successfully, and these may generate a quick boost in rankings. If these are the kinds of things that Google has identified as being schemes to gain higher rankings without providing value to people, then eventually those rankings will disappear. While this may seem like something that will eventually work itself out and cause the bad SEO companies to go out of business because they are losing customers, what we have found is that these types of SEO companies are actually in the business of generating short term clients. They will require a minimal contract of a few months and exploit the fact that it will take at least that long for any SEO program to begin working, good or bad. By the time the business owner figures out that it is not working, the bad SEO company is on the the next client who pays them for a few months. You will find that these types of companies have huge teams of salespeople and huge client lists, with almost no clients lasting very long.
So How Do You Tell Good SEO From Bad SEO?
SEO is a process, and it will work if it is done the right way. The company doing the SEO for you must understand that Google is looking for websites that answer questions that people are asking, and they must work to provide those answers on your website. If they tell you that they can develop rankings without providing unique and original content, then the strategy they are using will eventually backfire and result in you losing your rankings. If they only do “code work” like improving the speed of the website or tweaking titles and descriptions, you will probably move up a little and then get stuck in a specific position. If the company is doing things that generate almost immediate results, you can expect to lose your rankings eventually. The only way to develop rankings that stay high over time in 2020 is to think about the motivations of the people asking questions on Google, and to develop content on the website that answers their questions better than all the competing websites. Your SEO company needs to do this over and over every month, developing more and more content that links together in order to prove to Google that your website is the authority on these types of topics. Only then will your website rank on the first page.
So Does SEO Work In 2020?
Yes, SEO is still a valid means of gaining higher rankings for specific searches, that lead potential customers to your website. If you are answering questions that customers would be interested in learning answers to, then the answers you provide will cause your website to rise in rankings for topics that gain valid traffic through Google. Customers find your website and trust that you are the business to patronize. If the SEO company is trying to use automation or shortcuts to gain those higher rankings instead of developing content, then the rankings will soon disappear if they ever develop in the first place. SEO will work if the company you hire works to make your website the best source of information on the topics that involve the things you sell.