by Terry Young
When real-world technology changes, it is usually to a fanfare of advertising and promotion that start many months out. However, because the Internet is such a competitive arena where you can easily see and match what your competitors are doing, changes are often sudden and wide reaching.
One of the biggest recent changes from the giant Google search engine has, at once, created both benefits and issues, especially for companies that previously had very high natural search results on a global level. In the past (up until a few months ago) the Google results were more global in nature. All web sites in the world were judged by the same criteria. This meant that search results were basically the same whether you were searching from Alabama or Zimbabwe.
If your company can operate worldwide, and you came up on the first search results page, it was obviously comforting to know that your global market share was secure. Currently, as anyone who regularly uses Google will have seen, when you do a search for something, the first results you see (after the Pay-per-Click 'sponsored results') are the details, contact info and reviews of companies local to your area.
What does this mean for business in real terms? If you are a locally based company with a limited operating range, this new potential visibility can be extremely advantageous.
If this change is handled correctly by an experienced webmaster, a site that previously could not be seen can now attain first-page results for locally based searches much easier than before.
Each search engine has its own PPC system, you have to pay them all separately, whereas good SEO will work across all of the search engines.
Because our WebUpdate sites have locally targeted Search Engine Optimization already, our client sites have made the transition extremely well, and are now showing ahead of their competition in most cases. However, as with any advancements, there are always trade-offs and side effects, especially if you are a company that relies on global sales. Where you might have previously been at the top of the global searches organically, you may no longer be on the first page at all, simply because there are now several local results, maps and push pins in the way. If this is the case, unfortunately you now have a critical choice to make. Either you have to pay an SEO company to bring your site back to the top of the now fewer organic results, or you need to pay for Pay-per-Click. As I have stated before, organic SEO results, like those attained by our FirstPage system, are by far the better, cheaper and most flexible choice. With SEO, the whole site is specifically worded to your business. This offers a much wider variety of keywords and phrases, as well as more keyword relevance.
Pay-per-Click is more of a dice roll. You have to manually try to predict what people are likely to search for, then pay if someone luckily searches for that word or phrase. Furthermore, since each search engine has its own PPC system, you have to pay them all separately, whereas good SEO will work across all of the search engines.
If you are ready to grow your business, now is the perfect time to consider our WebUpdate systems, which employ advanced marketing, promotion and compatibility features developed to give your business the best competitive edge online.
Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design. Since 1997,