You’ll often hear us say that SEO is like a marathon and not a sprint. We’re not saying this to have a clever-sounding buzz phrase to throw around, we’re saying it because it’s true.
Google performs algorithm updates on a regular basis, more so in the last couple of years than ever before. These algorithm updates are rolled out to assist with showing the best websites at the top of the search results. Why? Because that’s Google’s purpose at the end of the day – to give the searcher the best result possible. These algorithm updates are, in most cases, reactions to various findings or various changes on the Internet.
For example, go back a few years, there was very little influence on rankings because of social networks. When social networks became hugely popular and it was clear that they weren’t going anywhere, Google changed their algorithms to cater for these social networks and studies have shown their influence on rankings – heck, all you have to do is look at Google to know that social is an important ranking factor.
SEO is Business Evolution
My point is that with Google changing their algorithms frequently, so do companies need to evolve to stay ahead of the pack – if you think about it, things work the same way in business offline, why wouldn’t it work like this online? So, if the Internet is changing and Google’s updating algorithms, how could you possibly hurry to get SEO done? It’s just not possible and therefore the metaphor of being a marathon comes into play.
Let’s look at an example – towards the end of last year, we took over a website that had been poorly treated by another SEO firm (we won’t name names). The website was in a really bad state and it took us several months to remove bad links, rewrite content, create social signals, and so forth.
The website finally stopped dropping in the search results and began climbing. Way before the website was healthy, the company that hired us decided that our work to that point was “good enough” and they decided that we were no longer needed. They assumed that the website would continue to climb in the rankings. We did our best to educate their decision-makers, and yet despite our best efforts they just let the website ride.
We decided to track the rankings of the website post-contract completion out of curiosity. This morning (just over 6 weeks later) when the ranking report was compiled the results were clear:
The site lost all of its momentum and began to slide again into the dark pit of negative ranking. It was an awfully sad sight to see after all the work we had done over the months, but it was confirmation of what we’ve always stood by.
Put on your running shoes, not your spikes.