It’s always nice to be able to contribute to respected websites and publications, particularly when it means I’m quoted alongside some people who I respect a lot in the marketing and search engine optimisation world, such as Rishi Lakhani, for example.
The article is a response to Google encrypting even more organic search queries, and features responses by myself alongside Rishi, Andy Heaps, Neil Yeomans and Kevin Gibbons. It’s well worth reading for both the insights in the article and also some good contributions in the comments regarding something which has been seen as a bit of a bombshell for the SEO industry, despite signs it was coming for a long time.
I won’t quote from it too much, but there was one answer I gave which I intend to expand on in a future article:
Could it be good for SEOs, in that it makes it harder for amateurs?
It won’t massively affect larger agencies and companies who can afford the additional time and cost.
But it will damage small businesses, including agencies, who now have an additional challenge to building their businesses, and I think eventually this will hurt both search results and indirectly impact on search usage, as the incumbents for any term become much more entrenched.
I don’t believe making search engine optimisation less accessible is a good thing – the majority of SEO outsourcing isn’t a question of intelligence, but generally one of training, resource and cost, and this continues that trend. I don’t believe that’s good for small businesses in particular, I don’t believe it’s good for consumers who have their choice limited, and I don’t believe it’s good for Google if it is perceived to be closed to all but the big players who can afford enterprise tools.
We work with a wide range of clients, from individual consultants and small businesses to large global manufacturers, and there are great things about working with each size and type of company. The idea that cost will become a restriction to the entry level for quality SEO measurement isn’t a pleasant one.