The way SEO industry has changed in the past 5 years is phenomenal. I call it an industry because the way it was seeing the growth of SEO companies in India was unprecedented. Content and creativity were sent for a toss and what was being done was rampart link submissions in directories, social bookmarking sites, blog commenting and what not! Wherever there was a chance to leave a link to the site, it was dropped, irrespective of whether it served any purpose or not. SERPs of Google were full of shallow sites having dubious or, at best, copied content and the credibility of Google was definitely at stake.
What followed was a series of updates, of the Panda and Penguin fame, which simply put these shallow sites on the mat. There was no way SEO companies or any practitioners could recover from the onslaught and many such businesses had to close shop.
The way Google has been going about refining its search result algos with careful pruning, the space for SEO service providers, notably in India, has been constantly shrinking. So called SEO experts, who were in fact spamming experts, have lost jobs. Only those are surviving who have used their brains to adapt to the changing game, got more creative and moved away from copy-paste work to a more thoughtful link building process and genuine business activities.
The jolts given by Google have meant that these companies have stopped using many of these resources which used to be the first line of activity. After hitting the article directories, unnatural link building, blog commenting networks and other such popular methods of web spam, Google has now taken Press Release sites out of equation, leaving little for the SEO practitioners to do. Space has been increasingly shrinking for the SEO guys.
Are these actions of Google wrong? One thing has to be understood by all the SEO consultants or experts that anything and everything which has the potential to be used for indiscriminate link building process is likely to face the wrath of Google, sooner or later. So, the choice of the resources shall be done carefully.
There is a need to change the ways of doing the SEO. Most of the time, and I can tell you that from my personal experience, SEO companies are led into wrong ways of doing SEO by the overambitious clients who want to rank into top 10 within a 2-3 months. And, if you can not do it, you are just an ordinary stuff. There is no plan, no strategy, no thought given to objectives to be achieved and certainly no enough time to do it. Sprinkling water blossoms the gardens but what if you flood it? I have seen the marketing charts of the SEO companies which mention that they will submit x number of content pieces into y number of resources. What a trash! Do they actually need that? Will it be a genuine business activity for that project? I can recall that one of the top brands in India wanted to do Press Release submission in the sites when they had good regular media exposure and could have done the same with mainstream print and online media houses. What is the need to PR submissions in those sites which are used by SEO companies for those clients who do not have access to mainstream media? So, where is Google wrong when it cuts down on these activities and discourages all these methods?
So, what is the way out?
- Give time, do not be in a hurry. SEO is not a work where quantity of work can match outcome.
- Develop evergreen content (here are some tips) and market it judiciously.
- Work for long tail keywords first, since herein lies best chance to rank at top quickly as competition is low.
- Remember no resource is bad, if you use it properly. But do not use a resource which you think can be used for spamming easily.
- Do not overdo. If you are getting too many links from diverse resources in a short span of time, Google will definitely get apprehensive.
- Perform only genuine business activity for a particular project.
- Think about building a brand, rather than doing SEO for a given time frame.
- Develop a solid online product and perform on-page optimization as per Google's guidelines.
- Utilize social media optimally. Join communities and engage their members. But, do not do it compulsively.