Well, it looks like all of those small companies that worked their asses off to earn the top SERPS for highly competitive keywords have been devastated by Google’s newest “update” to the algo. Aaron Wall at SEO Book created a great post about the new heavy emphasis on branding from Google. It seems that now you can “buy relevancy”. For once, the SEO community is not overreacting to subtle changes in the SEROS, because Matt Cutts has addressed this newest incarnation in the algorithm.
What Does This All Mean
Well, if you have been competing on highly competitive, generic keyword phrases, then you are going to lose a lot of revenue from search engine traffic (unless you are a household name). So it seems that paid links are prohibited by Google Spam Team law, but having a 9 figure marketing budget is the new “SEO trick of the day.” This isn’t good news for small players that have developed a great niche on the web. There is one caveat to the new change: Most long-tail keywords are not going to be effected by this change. Local search you ask? In the clear.
The fact of the matter is that most of the generic phrases that this change applies to tend to have a low conversion rate for most sites. These companies need to understand that their long-tail keyword visitors are much more likely to convert that these visitors that are typically at the top of the sales funnel. Will it affect the bottom line? Yes. There are always people that become aware of your company from very broad keywords and come back later to convert. Anyone that is feeling the pain from this blow needs to take a step back, take a deep breath, and then needs to establish a plan of action to regain their revenue using the same skills that pushed them past the big dogs the first time. If any of you guys need help developing a new strategy, LSM is here to help.