Google has long been “the name” in online marketing. It is the search engine referenced by nearly every SEO company and the baseline that people use to find out how well their marketing efforts are working.
Google’s claim to fame is an algorithm that does a fantastic job removing spam and providing users with “answers” to their questions. For example, if you wanted a content marketing company in Folsom, you would search for “Content Marketing Folsom” and voila – #5 in Google is Great Leap Studios, the only content marketing company in Folsom. Well done, Google.
Google Does a Lot Wrong
But as they say, with great power comes great responsibility, and Google is starting to take advantage of its position in a way that is hurting small businesses. One of the best examples is the recent, purposeful penalization of the website “My Blog Guest.” My Blog Guest was a forum-style website where marketers could post articles, and a website that enjoyed the article could use it as a guest post. It was a way to build links, and while it wouldn’t skyrocket your website to the top of search engines, it was a quick and simple way to get a few backlinks.
Any SEO technique that works ultimately becomes a spam technique, and many websites decided to use guest posts – especially on websites like My Blog Guest – to spam their website and skyrocket into Google. That’s a problem, and one that Google needed to solve. Unfortunately, their solution was a bad one. They have decided to essentially punish ALL guest posts unless they are on high quality websites, like CNN.com or Huffington Post. For the average small business, making it onto those websites is very expensive, and almost impossible. Those websites are not in any hurry to accept any post on a carpet cleaner in Utah.
Now, for Great Leap Studios, this change was a good thing – more and more, Google is requiring inbound marketing techniques, like content marketing/content writing, to grow in search engines. But just because something benefits GLS doesn’t mean that it is a good decision, and this recent change to their algorithm is yet another frustrating change in a series of frustrating changes. Google is slowly starting to create website monopolies, awarding only the top websites for nearly every topic, and forcing small businesses to pay for links or be ignored.
Competing in a Guest Post Free World
Inbound marketing still works, and will continue to work as long as search engines are in business. What’s on your website does and should always matter much more than what you do off of your website, so content writing is going to continue to be the key to long term success. But this decision to punish guest posts, while understandable, is a poor one by Google. The more they prevent small businesses from affording various marketing tactics, the more only the companies that can afford significant investments are going to be rewarded.