The recent changes that Google made to its algorithm, the infamous Google Panda or Google Farmer update, made many of the link building techniques used by SEO firms obsolete. Directories that were once part of massive link buys have now been re-designated as link farms and removed from Google page rankings. Without this potent tool, does SEO marketing still work? Those opposed to SEO claim that it doesnt, but they are the same folks who have said time and again that marketing for page rank has never worked, a statement that has been proven wrong by all the positive results those who have used search engine optimization have experienced over the years.
Directory submissions, believe it or not, are only one small part of SEO marketing. The technique begins with and is anchored by content development. Most SEO companies now use blogs and satellite microsites to add content and develop quality links back to their clients websites. Internal links have always counted in page rank calculations and the size of a website makes it much easier to find on the web. Think of the target site as an island in the middle of the ocean. Hawaii is hard to see when youre looking at the whole Pacific. Australia is pretty easy to find.
Another tactic that has become part of in recent years is social media marketing. The links that can be obtained by social bookmarking and conversation threads on Facebook and Digg, not to mention re-tweets from Twitter, are all awarded a fair amount of link juice from Google, Yahoo, and Bing, raising your overall page rank. The SEO companies that have learned to effectively use social media are the ones that are thriving right now, in spite of the changes brought about by Google Panda.
The algorithmic change in Googles formula is expected to be followed by similar changes in the way Yahoo and Bing calculate their page rank. The objective of the search giants move was to improve the quality of content on the web, at least that which is being seen by potential consumers surfing the web. It is no longer possible to buy your way to the top; it needs to be done through hard work and quality content development. By increasing the size of a website and linking it to relevant directories and other websites, even small businesses can now attain top page rankings.
Does SEO Marketing still work? Of course it does. It has been, still is, and probably always will be the most effective way to get long term traffic to your website. The formulas may have changed a bit, but those who have been doing it right all along havent been affected by that. By adding quality content and linking to sites relevant to a target industry, any business can now get to the top of Google Page One. You just have to do the work before you can reap the rewards. Imagine that.