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SEO Is No Longer a Viable Marketing Strategy for Small Busines

I recently read an article called "SEO is no longer a viable marketing strategy for startups" by Chris Dixon at Business Insider. I was intrigued to hear this proclamation because I have been saying this for quite some time but have not heard the sentiment echoed in the industry.

I believe that the way the Search systems are set up is good but SEO is not a magic bullet for startups and small businesses who are just getting online. The sites that have been around longest should get a bit of priority for virtue of being established in the marketplace. However, the backlink building tactics employed by many, even well meaning SEOs ,do more harm than good by trying to fool Google into indexing sites purely on the basis of perceived popularity. Some sites with little to no valuable content can achieve high rankings using this ploy. This abuse of the system really damages the viability of SEO for new websites.

Until SEOs stop ruining the system, your business will need to take a multpronged approach to marketing your site. You absolutely need to be in the search game, ETHICALLY. Hire a team that will be holistic about your marketing not just promise you thousands of backlinks and instant high rankings.

The take away from this is as follows, Chris says in his article:

The web economy (ecommerce + advertising) is a multi-hundred billion dollar market.  Much of this revenue comes from traffic that comes from SEO. This has led to a multibillion-dollar SEO industry. Some of the SEO industry is “white hat,” which generally means consultants giving benign advice for making websites search-engine friendly. But there is also a huge industry of black-hat SEO consultants who trade and sell links, along with companies like content farms that promote their own low-quality content through aggressive SEO tactics.

Google seems to be doing everything it can to improve its algorithms so that the best content rises to the top (the recent “panda” update seems to be a step forward). But there are many billions of dollars and tens of thousands of people working to game search engines. And for now, at least, high quality content seems to be losing. Until that changes, startups – who generally have small teams, small budgets, and the scruples to avoid black hat tactics – should no longer consider SEO a viable marketing strategy.

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What is your opinion? Do you think you can rapidly build a business with SEO tactics?


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