SEO: Do good guys finish last?

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For many small businesses, getting their website to rank higher on Google and other search engines is one of their main reasons for adopting a content strategy.

Depending on the market, ranking against well-established brand names can be very difficult indeed and sometimes organisations can lose faith in their SEO providers.

These perceived obstacles can sometimes cause businesses to make use of 'quick' links and black hat methods, designed to help their sites shoot up the rankings. However, with Google constantly releasing new updates, anyone caught using these will be penalised and will end up worse off than they were beforehand.

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However, Google's Matt Cutts is aware of these issues and gave his advice in a webmaster help video, giving smaller companies a reason for optimism in the SEO world.

When asked if the ‘good guys’ still stood a chance of ranking against those established organisations with bigger marketing budgets, Cutts responded that he believed they did.

“I think the good guys do stand a chance, and we try hard to make sure that the good guys stand a chance,” he said. Cutts also stated that the ‘good guys’ can get ahead by using a combination of webmaster tools, free online information and advice from those within the SEO industry.

Cutts added that black hat processes of the past, such as spamming and bad backlinking, would be punished and that Google was working hard to ensure firms who used such practices would be penalised.

“Our advice has been the same: great user experience, make sure people link to you because you’ve got a fantastic site, come up with something compelling.

“And the number of people who can push that envelope and get away with it is getting smaller and smaller over time. So I absolutely believe good guys do stand a chance, and small sites and small businesses can stand a chance,” Cutts continued.

So there you have it. The man himself has given small businesses a boost when it comes to SEO, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy.

In terms of techniques to improve SEO, Cutts suggested that firms should focus their resources on creating top quality natural links that link to high calibre content.

Of course, these types of link are much more difficult to create, but once they are in place they are much more likely to last and generate interest in your product or service.

When it comes to SEO, it is important for firms to remember that you won’t jump up the rankings overnight having posted a few articles. It takes an entire strategy, focused on your end goals, to help boost your SEO ranking.

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