SEO used to be an industry of guarantees. With a little bit of link building and keyword manipulation, websites could instantly capture strong rankings. But the sun has long set on that strategy. Now, in order to be an effective SEO professional, you must be an effective marketer. In the old days, when the system was very easy to game, it worked out well for everyone. Searchers had low expectations. And websites willing to put in the work raked in the profits. Now, users have high expectations. They want quick, high-quality results that match their precise need at the time of their query. This evolution has shifted the foundations of SEO and changed the way webmasters approach optimization. To reflect this shift in expectation and experience, could the new definition of SEO be “Search Experience Optimization?”
Well, here we are, wrapping up another year full of Google algorithm updates. This year has been full of ups and downs. Google’s 2013 changes have provided us with new challenges and caused us all to adjust our expectations. It might be a little early to do a retrospective of this year’s changes, but we’re assuming any future adjustments before the clock strikes 2014 won’t be nearly as momentous as the ones we’ve already experienced. Here’s hoping, anyway.
So in case you’ve somehow missed them, or if you just want to walk with us down memory lane, let’s take a look back at the year Google turned 15.
The world of SEO changes on a dime. Like the old saying goes, sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug. If you’ve been the bug these last six weeks, or even over the last year or so, you might be ready to throw in the towel and drop your entire SEO strategy. But even if you’ve gotten dinged, there are things you can do to help Google-proof your site and avoid any future penalties or drops in rankings in 2014.
Google has recently hinted that they will soon be encrypting all organic keyword search data. For the last few years, internet marketers have had to contend with the dreaded (not provided) keyword in their Google Analytics, and it’s caused many headaches. According to the website Not Provided Count, 75% of keyword searches are currently masked by Google. That last 25% might not seem like a big deal to people who aren’t versed in internet marketing, but the looming encryption has many people gnashing their teeth.
Developed in 2005, Google Apps for Business was created for small to medium sized businesses. Similar to Office 365, Google Apps allows your business to utilize Google’s web-based email (Gmail), calendars, messaging, and cloud-based document sharing programs.
The cost is $50 per user, per year, which is competitive pricing when stacked against other providers that offer similar services. So what do you get for your money, and is paying for Google Apps for Business worth the cost?