Google’s latest Panda update caused a huge wave of dissatisfaction among SEO experts. Almost overnight, what was ‘known’ about SEO seemed to get turned on its head – and this is not the first time that has happened.
By now, you’d actually think that SEO experts would have gotten used to the fact that search engines (especially Google) will continue to alter and tune its algorithm.
The reason for this is simple: In order for Google to survive it needs to keep offering up the most relevant results for the keywords that its users are searching for – and that is where the problem starts.
Over the years, SEO experts have taken it upon themselves to ‘boost’ the rankings of search engine results through various methods. Keyword density and massive amounts of backlinks are just a few of those methods.
Unfortunately, while from the viewpoint of an SEO expert the website they are boosting may deserve to do well because it has the most amount of backlinks and the best SEO – that isn’t Google’s position.
Google wants websites that are giving its users what they’re looking for. And so do all the other search engines, incidentally.
Effectively this is the reason why SEO experts often find themselves working at cross-purposes with Google, and that certainly isn’t sustainable because eventually an update comes along that gives them a big slap in the face.
That is exactly what Panda did.
In the wake of that however, the question remains: Should SEO be more sustainable? Can it be?
Short Term vs. Long Term Rewards
The problem with sustainable SEO that ‘fits’ what Google and other search engines want is that it is based on the idea that in the long term Google’s algorithm will push such websites to the top.
But for a web-based business the question is: Can we really afford to wait until Google acts to improve our standing?
For most businesses, the answer to that is: No.
While certain SEO practices may be unsustainable in the long term and only really offer short term profits (if any), the truth is that this is exactly what web-based businesses need. Most of them can’t afford to wait for months (or years) to rank well on search engines while their competitors gain an edge by using whatever the flavor-of-the-month SEO practices are.
So despite all the cries for sustainable SEO and despite the fact that in the long run many websites will find themselves impacted by future updates – when it comes down to it, there is a feasibility issue.
As long as this continues (which is for the foreseeable future), the fact that SEO experts and search engines are operating at cross-purposes will continue to pose a problem.