When I began getting serious in this game about two years ago, things were very different.
Comparing today and then is like comparing night and day… water and fire… John Lennon and Paul McCartney… You get the picture.
They may have their similarities, but in reality, they’re entirely different entities. It was a lot easier than it is now.
One of the biggest things that has changed is how traffic is obtained and directed to your website. Strategies that flawlessly worked back then are a marketer’s-worst-nightmare at this point. It’s pretty sad.
A Changed Ballgame
Google Panda is nothing new to most of you, but if you were to tell people two or more years ago that their entire SEO strategy would be turned to muck by it, you’d get laughed at. Seriously.
SEO is so screwy that you can get penalized for organically building links if Google doesn’t like it – it’s pathetic.
Don’t submit yourself to article directories like eZineArticles, either, because that’s bad, too.
SEO is still a viable option for many webmasters looking for traffic, but the sad reality is, that the time for it to be optimal is long passed.
Pay for Advertisements? Haha!
I walk around this planet each and every day with a library of information in the pocket of my blue-jeans (or shorts, if it’s hot outside). With my Blackberry and iPod, I can practically find any information at any time of the day.
While the fact that you can now do this is spectacular, it’s also very harmful to webmasters. I feel as if 2012 (and the later part of 2011) have been geared towards mobile-website-optimization.
The more complex information and designs are being scrapped from the mobile versions of websites, leaving mobile viewers with a dummied-down, yet still informative copy of your website.
When I first got started in web development, I was always told that buying banner ads was the “go-to-way” to get rich in traffic. It worked.
But we are now at a point where mobile phones (lets forget tablets – they aren’t fitting in my pocket and don’t count here) have screens that are, at best, four inches across.
Even the beautiful retina-displays of the iPhone, or the larger displays of Droids are having trouble displaying our content, let alone banner ads.
This wasn’t a problem two or more years ago, but it is now – the majority of our audiences are probably viewing our websites, for the first time, on a mobile browser. That ad campaign you just bought? Worthless.
Mobile viewers don’t want two-inch ads taking up half of their four-inch screen. They’re not being used as much, and thus, aren’t going to be as efficient in today’s web world.
I’ll be the first to admit that there’s far more options out there than just SEO and banner-ads, but the point is simple – they were big then, and are now obsolete to a certain degree.
The future is long, and marketers are trying to stay one step ahead of the current trends – they have to to stay alive.
Websites like eZineArticles have perished, and other social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Digg, and Delicious may soon follow. It’s just how internet-selection works (Charles Darwin said so, I believe).
The inevitable question still looms, though – what other options are still available for webmasters?
Guest posting still works (check the author), as do many other methods. Their effectiveness, however, is always dropping. Guest posting to “questionable” websites or posting “spam” comments will get you many slaps on the wrist with SEO, though.
I guess the real question isn’t what’s left, but what’s still effective?