A lot of companies are unhappy right now because of the latest Google update. Google’s been changing how they rank websites in their natural search results. And Google has been very busy this year, with two updates called Panda and Penguin.
What sucks about these latest updates is that all kinds of companies are affected, and not just people who tried to game the system. I’ve talked to some that have lost 30-60% of their natural search visitors from Google. Some people are losing a lot of their livelihood because of this. There’s even a petition telling Google to kill the update. Good luck with that. You might want to just spend more money on AdWords ads, which you can actually control, and for which Google actually has customer service.
Google updates are not new, and some are more destructive than others. Google’s been making changes to try to improve the quality of their search results for more than a decade. That probably won’t change. Google will steam ahead, and you’ll have to adapt… or Google will become unpopular. Either way, if your business relies mainly on Google natural results, you’re at risk.
What I want to say is pretty simple, and so smart that there’s a well known saying for it…
Stop putting your eggs all in one basket.
This is the same reason I am leery of companies investing their entire marketing budget into their Facebook fan pages. What if Facebook changes the rules? Or accidentally deletes your page? Or finds that you violated one of their promotional guidelines and is justified in deleting your page? Or goes the way of the Dodo and MySpace? Yep, you’re in big trouble.
So what are the most reliable, stable, solid marketing investments?
When you get email addresses from customers or prospects, you can control these, regardless of the platform. Not so Facebook fans. Not so Google rankings. Have you noticed the process most social networks get you onboard with? Yes, with your email contacts. Oh, they use your Facebook contacts? How did you get your first Facebook contacts? Email. Get it?
When you network with real people, you build real relationships that may outlive every website that’s now popular. Real people can give you real business. Anonymous fans are such weak ties that you may lose them too easily and regaining them might be impossible.
I’m not saying don’t do Facebook or don’t do SEO for Google. I’m saying… do it all: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, blog, infographics, video, networking, speaking, writing…
And think ahead.