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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Construction marketing: When the search engines change the rules

If you look carefully, you can see me in this picture.  Yes, at Google headquarters.  Click on the image for the back story.
In the last month or so, the rankings of this construction marketing blog have declined somewhat -- from first or second place to somewhat lower.  I checked, and discovered through my internal network of Google gurus that indeed something is up, and it isn't good.  It seems that changes in the search algorithm are giving an "edge" to players who can game the system just a little more than the others -- and sites built sincerely with real value are being knocked off.

Huh.  Isn't the system supposed to improve with time and tweaks?  Maybe.  I won't go into the technical details here, but it seems that your keyword and subhead codings have somehow become much more important than before.  Your "tags" should explicitly state the keywords you wish the bots to discover -- but you had also better be careful that your site really contains the relevant keywords.

There's stuff about Drupal, and W3 compliance, and other enhancements that suggest you need to be a much better coder than blogger or writer.

While great SEO is an important asset for any business, you need to be very careful about who you work with on this sort of stuff.  Virtually everyone who approaches you -- and I received several "approaches" a week even when this site ranked number one or two in the search engines -- is misrepresenting their services, and you will throw good money after bad.  You need to check your SEO consultants carefully, and evaluate their work with a critical eye.  There are good consultants out there -- and I think they could be worth every cent of their fees -- but don't rush to the one who calls you out of the blue on the phone, or sends you a spam email.  Like everything, you will find competent people through qualified referrals and recommendations.

Isn't that what great construction marketing is all about?

(P.S.  In time, probably sooner than later, this site will regain its rank.  I'm patient and persistent and certainly have built a helpful network who can guide me along the path.)

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