First let me make it clear that I am not one to take sides. There is plenty that is right and plenty that is wrong regarding the recent Occupy Wall Street protests, and there is no denying that all of our eyes have been opened to the fact that there are plenty of people in this country who will most likely never have the opportunity to mingle amongst the wealthy elite.
All of this has made me wonder a bit about how these historic protests happening right now could relate to the world of SEO and it clicked. Let’s take a second to look at the world of Google and imagine it as the real world. Businesses competing against one another in an effort to maximize revenue using creative tactics, promotions, and quality products to entice the masses. Over time, as many of you have seen, the small businesses began to lose steam for a variety of reasons. They were being bought up by larger businesses and the budgets couldn’t match up with major corporations.
So when is the internet going to become a place where some places in the market are solidified? Let’s take shopping for instance. Personally, I enjoy shopping for clothes and gear on a website called Dogfunk which is owned by the massive Backcountry.com. Years ago there were a pretty large variety of outdoor gear shops online but Backcountry came out on top and now they hold a very firm grip on the overall market. What are you going to do if you have aspirations of starting up an outdoor retail shop online? Because some of these markets have become clogged by wealthy corporations there might not be a lot newcomers can do. Let’s take a look at some examples.
Long story short money now buys you the top spots. The first thing listed is a paid ad that if properly placed will coincide with the top organic search result. By coordinating PPC and SEO campaigns large companies automatically have the ability to take over the first big chunk of a search engine results page. How does money earn the top organic spot as well? For the same keyword chosen in the PPC campaign the business has paid for quality copy writing, optimization, and huge amounts of link building to ensure the number one spot. Check out the image below to get a grip on what I am saying.
Whoever is on page 2 doesn’t have a chance. It is my belief that start up companies are being given less and less of a chance in Google when it comes to competing against the major brands. Money buys power in the world of Google and whether is is on (PPC) or below (SEO) the surface of public visibility it is happening and there are people who are really really good at it.
Link Building is a complicated and simple process all rolled in to one. The simple part of the equation is that by creating buzz and having a quality product you are naturally going to acquire links. Take for example the store Dogfunk I linked to earlier in this article. They probably didn’t need the link, but because they have impressed me over time I drop their name freely and have no hesitation about promoting their product.
So as a small business we can just create buzz and get some loyal customers to help spread the word right? Wrong. Big dollar companies have people who are paid to devise tactics to build more links and the more links you build the more you are solidifying your spot at the top. People are on blogs and forums, pretending to be people’s friends, and paying chunks at a time to links from high quality sites. So who is going to win the battle, the person with the quality product and no money or the person with a mediocre product and a huge online marketing budget?
I know that this article might seem a little negative about my industry but it isn’t. I am simply pointing out that as an SEO and SEM professional we need to become more and more creative to overcome obstacles that will continue to expand and block our path to page number ones. Companies with smaller budgets really need to consider their market before investing too much in to SEO, etc. There are some places where it is easy to succeed and other where you might be throwing away money on your way to a run in with a brick wall. These are just a few of the many examples that money buys power online, so lets get creative and find you a niche.
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