Google SlappedEverybody wants more visitors on their site and apparently that includes Google. Google’s most recent updates are designed to keep people on Google longer – seems a little greedy if you ask me, but I’m not shocked. I’m not entirely convinced, however, that “leveling the playing field” is really their intention as much as it is about bringing more advertising dollars to Google.

When I hear more dollars for Google I envision less visitors for me. All the whispers seem to be indicating a 10-20% impact on organic search results. I wonder if this impact will be like the single digit percentages Matt Cutts suggested the Google privacy changes would be. As a side note, I think it’s pretty cool that number one referrer for all of our analytics tracking is (Not provided). Yes, that was sarcasm, but not a slam on Matt Cutts, I’m an avid follower.

Speaking of people in the know, Jenna Saglione just featured an article about this new Google update on SiteReference Newsletter that I’m sure captured the attention of many bloggers and possibly left them shaking in the shadows of the ever-present Google Bitch Slap. Out of curiosity does Google have any positive catch phrases or terminology associated with them other than “getting Googled”?

The ones I always here about seem so negative:

1. The Google Slap
2. Google penalties
3. I’ve been Penalized by Google (same thing just phrased differently because it’s affected you personally and now you’re panicked as opposed to just curious)
4. The Google Sandbox
5. Help, My Sites been banned by Google
6. Google Dropped my Site
7. Why has Google. . .(you fill in the blank)?

I’ll even add one of my own, “Google, please don’t punish me for talking smack”.

This Matt Cutts quote was pulled from Jenna’s article titled, Hot Off the Presses! Google Takes Down a Popular Blog Network”

“The way that I often think about SEO is that it’s like a coach. It’s someone who helps you figure out how to present yourself better. In an ideal world, though, you wouldn’t have to think about presenting yourself and whether search engines can crawl your website, because they’d just be so good that it could figure out how to crawl through the Flash, how to crawl through the forms, how to crawl through the javascript, how to crawl through whatever it is. And for the most part, most search engines have made a lot of progress on being able to crawl through that richer content.”

While it’s great for a search engine to improve, I think a lot of people view SEO in terms of what needs to be done to get their website better rankings and better visibility. For these people building back links, exchanging links, adjusting meta data and doing whatever else they can do to help their website get attention is good SEO. For many, the line delineating “white hat” and “black hat” link building is a pretty grey area. So, now these very same people are silently waiting to see if their efforts are going to be deemed “beyond what a normal person would expect in a particular area”, whatever that means. Nobody wants to be the one saying, “oh, man I was just too clever at building a network for my blog that I got bitch slapped so far off the Google serps that my site didn’t even land on Altavista.”

Obviously, Google puts a lot of emphasis on great content. This is no mystery and I think we can all agree that it’s a good thing. My only concern is that even for those who have been very effective at weathering all the Google updates, does there come a point when our time is up? There are plenty of sites that I consider very valuable and well diversified that have not fared so well.

As for the fate of SEO, who knows? My company has always been very good at adapting to new situations. As long as there are websites and search queries, there is a need for those who provide website marketing services. Whether you call it SEO, SEM, inbound marketing or just plain marketing there is market for the service.