So, you have achieved that coveted top spot on the search engine results page. You are feeling good about your business, and in this moment, you may believe that there is nothing that could bring you down. Now, I am not trying to rain on your parade, but rather give you that umbrella for when someone else tries to steal this achievement from you. The reality is that your work is far from over – granted, now you no longer have to worry about getting to the top of the search engine results page (SERP), but instead there are other challenges that await. Keep reading to learn about the three potential threats to your company’s search engine optimization (SEO).
Some businesses will do whatever it takes in order to rise up in the search engine rankings, including using black hat tactics. This can involve hacking your page or giving it a virus, in which case you want to request a malware review from Google after you have removed the harmful code.
There is also a newer tactic that is on the rise – according to Alexander Kesler, inSegment President, competitors are posing as legitimate sites and sending emails to companies asking them to remove or no-follow backlinks to avoid being penalized for a link scheme. In reality, these links have been helping to boost your SEO, but if you are unable to identify this email scam you may lose that top spot SERP position for which you have worked so hard.
Being #1 on a SERP is like being #1 in your class – everyone knows you are the best and will try to sit behind you in tests so they can copy your answers in order to help themselves get an A. You have achieved this top spot because your SEO strategy has worked, so now your competitors may begin to adopt your keywords and content in order to boost their own rankings. You may be thinking, “But is this even a real threat? I was the first to produce this content and already have the top spot – can someone really just copy me and take it all?” The answer is unfortunately yes. If a competitor creates identical content, Google will only display one result with this content and will ignore the rest.
Being aware of these two threats is one thing, but what you really want to know is how you can defend your company against them. When it comes to SEO, the best defense is a good offense. That is, attacks on any given page of your website will not be as detrimental if you consistently produce content. However, it is not only quantity that matters, but also quality. If Google observes that your content is shared often, or if many top websites are linking to your page, you will be more likely to achieve the top spot on search engine results, despite any attempts at attacks. However, because it really all falls back on you, the final threat of which you have to be aware is:
3. Too much slack
Don’t let being content with your position be the end of your production of content. When you stop providing helpful content for your audience, not only do you become less of an asset, but you are also giving your competitors more room to come in and take your top spot. According to Forbes, content marketing is the #1 online marketing trend of 2014, and is one of the best ways to “establish authority and gain trust with consumers,” thereby keeping them coming back to your website for more.
Furthermore, consistently producing high quality content will help to protect you from Google’s Panda updates. Don’t let the cute and cuddly name fool you, this content-filtering beast will remove you from the top search results regardless of how big or small your company may be. Consider the recent Panda 4.0 update, for example, which caused ebay.com to lose 33% of its visibility by removing the majority of its search listings from the first results page. To avoid similar injury, general animal taming rules still apply – don’t make Google angry, and let it come to you. That is, provide the quality content and these updates will become your business’s best friend.
Reaching the top of the SERP is only half the battle – staying there is more of a challenge than you may have thought. You need be vigilant about attacks and copycats, and you need to stay diligent when it comes to your content.
If your company needs help improving its SEO, contact inSegment!