Being dependent on SEO can badly hurt you

In case you haven’t noticed, a typical display of Google search results these days isn’t anywhere what it used to be.

Until pretty recently, search results were a listing of relevant web links and descriptions, with paid web links (ads) displayed up top.

But now, it’s very often something wholly different. Instead of a parade of web links, you’re now fed a bunch of Google’s own generated content, whether a culling of what it’s collected across the web, or a gallery of temptations to lead you into their various properties (including e-commerce).

The result is that on mobile, depending on the popularity of the search query, you can kiss goodbye to appearing on the first page of organic search results. It’s all dominated by whatever Google is choosing to throw on it.

Typical Google search results, with their own content stuffed before organic search results
Dude, where are my search results?

(Of course, paid search results – ads – will continue to be shown before anything else – since that’s where Google’s money is made.)

Many businesses are now reporting they’re negatively impacted by the Google-imposed changes to their SEO, to the extent of even seeing their revenue “killed” over time. This is especially true for companies with products that compete with Google in some way.

Yes, there is the possibility of legal ramifications stemming from anti-competitive business behavior and the questionable practice of scraping content from other websites. But nothing is certain at this point.

The only thing that can be certain is something I’ve been saying over and over again. Put all of your eggs in one basket – in this case Google – at your own peril.

It all seems like a great success and a fruitful partnership, until you realize your partner never really cared about you to begin with.