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Organic SEO In The Black and White Era: Not Harder, Just Different

Organic SEO is one of those fields that’s constantly evolving, and every once in a while gets completely overturned by a change from the top — in this case, ‘the top’ meaning ‘Google’. In the past couple of years, a number of once-commonplace SEO practices have been deemed ‘ungood’ by the Goog, with the result that many people who considered themselves decent search engine optimizers suddenly found that their toolbelt was nearly empty. But is SEO actually harder since Google’s “black-and-white” updates (Panda and Penguin) hit?

No. It’s not harder — you can still accomplish the same kinds of results in about the same timeframe as you could a couple of years ago. But it is different, because the tools that you have to use to get the same website SEO‘d properly have changed radically.

Two years ago, you could bust out a daemon that would sign up your website to 2,000 different website directories in a matter of hours, pay a Bangladeshi family to create a dozen Web 2.0 properties and linkring them, and of course hire a hack ghostwriter to bust out a few dozen vaguely-related articles and put them up on EzineArticles.com, and you’d be doing ‘good SEO’.

Today, you have to work a bit more carefully — you have to have, among other things, a good writer and a social media expert. The same time you used to spend waiting for your daemon to finish, you’ll have to spend describing to your writer what it is you want him to do. The same money you used to spend on the Bangladeshi family and the ghostwriter, you’ll have to give to your writer to pay him to create 3-4 good, high-quality articles. And the effort you put into posting articles and linking Web 2.0 properties, you’re going to have to put into spinning each of your few articles a dozen times and then posting each of those dozen variations across different article directories.

The end result of all of this careful article writing and distribution is going to be about the same as your slapdash efforts of a couple of years ago — it just takes a different kind of content and a different attitude toward SEO to get the job done these days.