SEO: The Pros and Cons
Often when visiting a website or service attempting to sell you on their 'awesome new SEO plan' they forget to mention the possible downsides to engaging in their SEO practice. Today I will try to inform you of both the pros and also the cons to different forms of search engine optimization. It would be completely naive to inherently expect a third party group to watch out for your website. In fact, people running SEO campaigns are almost always just after money, they see this as a business venture and will do almost anything to sell you their highest package. Hopefully you will gain some valuable information on SEO and this may allow you to better asses the situation when it comes down to different promotion options for your website.
The Benefits of SEO
Let's start off with the many benefits to optimizing your website for search engines. In order to fully understand this topic let's dive right into the center of SEO, where it all happens and where it came from. Originally when search engines started popping up people were unsure of what they would become and if they would ever have a significant impact on the Internet. Additionally some people even doubted if search engines were needed as many people heard of websites from their friends and so forth. Needless to say, word of mouth is and will always be a powerful form of promotion and advertising for any website or any product for that matter. To date, word of mouth still plays the majority of person's decisions on a purchase due to the built-in respect and loyalty one would have for a friend. If you are taking advice from a friend then you are already committed to them and will have a much higher chance on following through with their wishes unless you come upon other information. Search engines fought this policy and wanted people to have a greater ability to learn on topics they might never have heard of before. This was a great process as people were able to significantly increase their ability to purchase good products, rather than just the most popular products. You would type in some keywords and Google would do the rest of the work, finding a local or at least targeted website to help you out. Now this was all find and dandy until people realized the true potential of a search engine. There is always the deadly factor of any service that provides a tunnel between potential customers to potential business' selling services and products. People have long wondered if Google's original founders actually had this idea in mind and realized just how powerful it would become if it were to be utilized by the general public. Think about this, one day you suddenly have the power to find almost any website that is available on the Internet. Just by typing in a few quick words you are met with the most popular websites that are related to the keywords in under a second. You will never have to search tirelessly on online forums or other places for people's opinions on obscure topics, now you can have the entire process automated, while saving time and effort. This unfortunately lead to the problems of SEO that we will discuss later. People decided that since Google was such a powerful tool, they would have to fight their way up the rankings, so more people would naturally find their website and therefore over time more page views and web traffic would be sent right to their doorstep. Well as you could have guessed, this sent off a landslide of marketers who were ready to process everyone's demands and start regulating the process that we call Google.
The Problems That Ensued
Shortly after this rush of people developed for 'optimizing their website' there began an entirely new market just for controlling your place on Google. People realized that money could be made if you could get people to think about the potential profits and revenue that would come in just by getting their rankings up. Google singlehandedly holds the power over what websites will become nationally known and turn into huge corporations versus those which will dwindle in rankings and eventually perish due to a lack of traffic. Every single year the actual need for web traffic increases as more and more people are getting access to personal computers and a solid Internet connection. We can only hope that in years to come this factor only increases, as it is a positive influence on the Internet as a whole. Finally, SEO can have some horrible results to a website if done incorrectly. These days, everyone and their mother believe that they have just stumbled upon a fantastic new method. People think that they are going to be able to change Google and control the rankings, this is not entirely true. Google works off of a popularity algorithm which is weighted. Essentially Google is trying to see which sites are already popular, due to quality content and satisfied users, and then puts those websites at the top of the ranks giving them supposedly the same advantage they had already accumulated and worked for over the years. This is why we see back links having such an effect on website rankings. Backlinks are essentially links that Google can see which says to them that this website is popular, they read backlinks as a person sending the link to another and positively promoting the website, regardless of the true reasoning. We often see people spamming low-level and terrible backlinks across websites, if you have visited non-moderated forums, Youtube videos, or blogs you will notice an increasing amount of spam links and non-related phrases being put in the comments. This is normally people just trying to promote their website, but in the end, and after many updates to the system Google has once again outsmarted the people and has realized these backlinks are indeed trash online rather than promotion. For this reason Google is now negatively affecting the rankings of websites that engage in these endeavors, and you should always fear the possibility of paying for an SEO campaign that seems suspicious. If you are dealing with inexperienced marketers they may fall into this trap and actually send your website spiraling down the rankings rather than increasing your web traffic. To stay safe there is always the efficient, and positively looked upon method of buying web traffic, which will grant you real backlinks and raise your SEO in allowed and strong ways.