On the 24th of April 2012, Google implemented a major update which affected thousands of sites.
The update has come to be known as Penguin Update by the industry. It still beats me why they choose to name updates after animals – Panda update, Penguin update…
Maybe animal names are cute, and they help to ease the tension that arises out of such updates.
But there is nothing cute to the individual who is badly affected by the latest update. An individual who depends heavily on Search Engine Traffic, and who needs to pay rent, pay bills, feed the kids, pay off loans, etc, would find himself in a dire predicament.
Imagine earning good money on the Internet for months. Surely, one would think that life will turn for the better. There is money to pay the bills, money to pay catch up with loans and rent, money for the kids’ education.
Life is good.
Life is hopeful.
Then overnight, just like that, more than 90% of the search engine traffic is gone. After the update, many websites lost top rankings even though webmasters swear that they haven’t done anything wrong to be penalized.
Just like that, life plummeted from being hopeful to being really sore.
Of course, the Search Giants claim that the updates are necessary – all in the name of “Quality” enforcement. Whether the updates lead to higher quality search results is debatable. But it is not my intention to discuss that in this post. Rather, I think it’s wise to focus our attention on how to deal with such updates.
Like it or not, Search Engine updates will come and go periodically. Every few months, a major one comes along, and the same cycle happens. An update happens, and some people are happy with better rankings, while others are angry about losing their rankings. The forums come to live with discussions on what is happening during the latest update. Those who lost their rankings are usually sore and angry. They panic, complain, and swear that they have done nothing wrong to deserve this.
Maybe. Maybe not.
The truth is, from the perspective of the search engines, all those complains are just dust. It really didn’t matter if the sites did anything wrong with SEO. No algorithm is perfect. So with every update, it’s a guarantee that some good guys get caught up as well (Ouch!).
What will happen after the update?
The usual. The dust will settle, Google will continue doing what they do, and life goes on.
“But wait! What about those who have been badly affected? Is there no hope at all? What about all those lost revenues?”
The good news is, there is no need for despair. In fact, many Internet Marketers who have depended on Search Engine Traffic eventually found other ways to promote their businesses and went on to make even more money than they used to make.
How did that happen?
Well, they did the next most sensible thing. After losing Search Engine Traffic, they realized that it’s foolish to depend solely on the Search Engines for traffic. If the rankings tank, the business goes belly up as well. It’s just risky to have to depend on a single traffic source.
So what they did was to hunt down alternative traffic sources – BOTH online and offline.
This is not the first time I’ve said this before, and it wouldn’t be the last. At this juncture, I feel that it’s appropriate to bring it up again:
Don’t ignore the search engines for they do bring in free paid traffic. But DON’T depend entirely on them either. Diversify your traffic sources and you will reduce the chances of failing.
Are there REALLY alternative traffic sources? Is there really a WORLD beyond SEO?
Perhaps it may be comforting for you to learn that the search engines only own 10% of the traffic on the Internet. So where are the rest of the traffic?
Think long and hard.
What do we have?
On the Internet, we have Social Networking sites rising and rising, we have Pay Per View ad companies coming to life again, we have Banner Advertising, we have Forum Marketing, we have Blogs (a biggie), we have Classifieds, we have dedicated B2B portals, we have email marketing, we have product launches, we have video marketing, we have webinars, etc.
The list goes on…and all these alternative traffic sources account for the 90% of Internet traffic. That’s quite substantial to go after. And if you don’t favor these routes, perhaps you can look towards offline marketing.
Off the Internet, we have telemarketing, we have flyer advertising, we have print advertising, we have TV media, we have conferences, we have billboards, student boards, etc. Heck, you can even get creative and advertise your business by hiring a group of students to walk through the busiest cities wearing T-shirts with your URL printed on it.
What am I saying? I am saying, there are a TON of advertising possibilities both on and off the Internet. So YES, there is hope! And YES, there is life beyond SEO!
Now the reason why it has taken me so long to publish this blog post is because I’ve been busy putting together a new service that will help your business BE FOUND ONLINE.
This isn’t the usual SEO link building service that you commonly come across. So do be patient and hear me out…
Many new Marketers don’t realize this – it’s not just traffic generation that counts. Traffic counts for nothing if you can’t convert it into sales successfully.
If you think about it, you want to be able to build trust and credibility so as to boost sales. If others trust your reputation and brand, they are more likely to buy from you.
BRAND BUILDING AND TRAFFIC GENERATION
Brand Building & Reputation Management is something that I know many business owners are not doing enough of. Preoccupied with traffic generation, many Brands have either remained relatively unknown, or have gone south.
Can sales still be made with a relatively unknown brand? Sure, with enough traffic, some sales will occur. But with a positive Brand, sales will really start to soar!
The job at hand, therefore, is to help your Brand name be found online, and at the same time, leave a positive impression.
Web visitors are always searching for product or service related information on the Internet. They don’t just use the Search Engines to do that. They search on Facebook, Docs sharing sites, Forums, Blogs, Twitter, and of course, video sites like Youtube.
When you look at the bigger picture, Search Engine Marketing becomes just a miniscule part of your entire online marketing campaign.
SEO is this – you do your on-site and off-site SEO and hope that you rank well and then potential customers start buying from you. Your entire brand depends on the getting found on page 1 of the search results for a handful of keyword phrases. That doesn’t leave much opportunity to brand your Company well.
If you look beyond SEO, you immediately see that other possibilities exist. What if you publish some classy videos online (tagged with keywords of course)? With videos, you get the opportunity to use Images, videos, narration and music. Something you can’t do with classic SEO. Perhaps you can embed your video in your press releases or guest posts. That’s another opportunity for positive branding. As more and more people get exposed to your Brand, it is inevitable that your sales will soar.
To put it more simply, and to be more specific, here is what we would like to help you and your business achieve:
1) Reduce dependency on search engines for traffic.
2) Increase chances of being found online on other hot web properties.
3) Build a positive brand name based on keywords and content.
As I ponder over the Branding packages, I realize that there is no one-size-fits-all package. Every client is different and has different needs. In addition, our range of services have also expanded over the years. Not all services are suitable for all clients.
So I’ve decided to adopt a consultative approach on this new service. This way, I can look at the specific needs of each business and propose the right solutions for Branding, Reputation Management, and Traffic Generation.
All you need to do is to CONTACT US using an online form, and let us know your URL and budget. I’ll then work with you on the details and come up with a custom proposal for your business (no obligation of course).
You may also wish to watch the sample video on our homepage to get a better idea of what we do.