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Eric Burdette
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Online Marketers vs Google: how the small business can compete

18 July 2014, 20:15

Internet Marketing strategies are being revolutionized despite Google’s attempt to keep business owners inside their control. The absolute truth about internet marketing is that much of it is, and always will be, a mystery. The exact features and intricacies of the search algorithm for “The Big Three” (Google, Bing, Yahoo!) is kept from the public, and understandably so.

Internet marketing companies compete by manipulating the algorithm. There are certain strategies, e.g. keyword packing, viral articles and videos, content marketing, social proofing, social validation, etc, that internet marketing companies deploy the make their clients’ web pages appear more prominent than they actually are. In order to combat this, Google will alter their algorithm, devaluing certain strategies. These updates happen often, sometimes monthly, and Google will only provide general overviews of their changes to the search algorithm. It becomes a constant struggle between internet marketing companies trying to artificially (and for the White Hat SEO companies organic ranking) rank their clients and Google who is trying to ensure that they can control all of their search results.

With the multitude of internet marketing strategies it is an advertiser’s market. No matter the changes Google or other search engines make to their search algorithm, marketers will adapt and evolve to manipulate it. For example, Keyword packing was a marketing strategy used around 2010. Marketers would take key phrases that searchers would type into search engines and fill their websites with content that exclusively contained high traffic keywords. At the time, Google’s algorithm was not intelligent enough to tell the difference between a sentence that was filled with keywords, i.e. “Social Security Law, Disability Law, Worker’s Compensation Legal aid.”, and sentences that actually used key terms in context, i.e. “Example law firm practices Worker’s Compensation Law”. As a result, meaningless websites packed with computer generated keywords would appear on the first page of google for a multitude of queries for little to no cost. Of course, Google has adapted their algorithm to require keywords to appear in context in order for a page to gain internet authority.

But the marketers are always one step ahead. Google’s changes are always in response to creative marketing ideas and can take months to have any effect on the manipulation of search results. For every change Google makes, effective online marketing companies have a dozen other strategies already help ranking their clients. The investment required to rank a website through an experienced and knowledgeable company is only a fraction of the marketing budget used by big brand companies like Coca-Cola or Apple. If one were to ask Google about the legitimacy of the various marketing strategies their answer would, of course, be negative. Google’s ultimate goal is to control all information on the web through their filter (search engine algorithm). However, if one were to ask the small business owner that cannot afford massive marketing budgets how fair search engine manipulation is, they would answer positively.

Online marketing companies can draw traffic without the threat of legal action. They provide small businesses the opportunity to compete with the department store or giant online retailer despite the fact that they do not have the available cash flow. They are quickly becoming essential for any business to compete and in the future they may very well be the only way for small businesses to stay in business.

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