Dear Clients & Friends,

Google’s algorithm changes, in particular March 2017’s “Google Fred” and “the Feb 7 2017 Update” have recently savagely disrupted a number of our client rankings. It’s of course a phenomenon around the world.

We’re no longer confident/comfortable we can achieve positive outcomes for clients. It used to be so much easier. In 2008-2013, just 3 of our ultra-powerful links got people to top 3. Now it’s more like 100+ quality links are required, and even then the future of organic SEO is confusing to almost all SEO providers. The ones who still say they can achieve amazing rankings are more than ever likely to be the quick-buck charlatans who will try to sign clients into 12-month contracts and then achieve nothing of value.

Nowadays, too often rankings just bounce around chaotically day after day. None of us want to live with this nightmarish chaos – there are better ways to have a life.

Google is destroying the credibility of all SEOs. Because as business owners lose faith in organic SEO, they feel they have no choice but to spend their money on Adword$$$$.

Below is a rough guide to the Google changes which are having a devastating effect on many small to medium Australian businesses:

Google Fred:

One of our longest term clients – who relies entirely on revenue from his 4 sites – has lost all of his rankings. Were there inherent problems with his websites? Yes. Did he heed our warnings? Not often enough. Will our staff now work 160-hour weeks – double our usual 80-hour weeks – to live and breathe his emergency? Of course it’s unbearable & impossible.
Therefore all new enquiries are being informed “we no longer provide organic SEO services”.

The Feb 7 Google Update:

A lot of ranking hits across most industries.
One of our Sydney-based SEO gurus, who seemed to have a strategy for just about everything, informs us he has quit SEO. “What’s the point when to get someone to number 1, with 4 Adwords Listings and then 3 Google Places, organic number 1 is effectively/visually number 8.” “Google has won the battle against organic SEO”. “Google continues to maximise their Adwords revenue by making ROI from organic SEO impossible in almost all industries – so businesses are forced to bid ever-higher in Adwords against other equally-desperate businesses.”

23 September 2016: Penguin 4.0

One of our longest-term clients is bounced from Page 1 to Page 10 – and we’ve been unable to get him back.

2 September 2016:

Two of our clients lose their single-word first-page rankings. A devastating effect on their businesses.
From everything we’ve observed since, Google’s algorithm changes in September (both of them) reinforced Page 1 rankings for international websites. So where a client had a strong Page 1 ranking for a very valuable short-string two-word term, international articles such as Refinery 29, Cosmopolitan and even Youtube videos are dominating the rankings. He’s now had to quit being a client: goodbye $3K per month.

Feb 2016:

Google Introduces the “4th Ad”. Organic rankings ROI drops around 20% for most clients. Makes organic SEO much more problematic. Google has been squeezing the top end of its search engines – there’s now the 4 ads – then 3 Google Places aka “Google My Business” – so now in almost all industries:
– a #1 organic ranking is now visually #8 – very little revenue
– a #3 organic ranking is now visually #10 – usually no revenue
– a #6 organic ranking – which one of my clients used to do very well out of – is now visually #14 – a cataclysm for his business
….. and of course with this desperation in businesses, the poor SEO people cop all the blame – we’re the meat in the virtual Google sandwich. Many very talented independent Sydney SEO providers started quitting organic SEO & move their services to Adwords-only, or quit their businesses altogether & joined the workforce doing other things.

Google: destroying Australian businesses, making billions out of Australia via Adwords, and paying almost zero tax. What a “cool” company.

We appreciate the kind loyalty of so many of our clients, and hope to return to some forms of digital marketing at some point in the future,

– the team at Atomic Digital Marketing.

seo association australia