The short black/white answer: Yes.
The more nuanced answer: Not really.
Prior to Panda and Penguin updates to Google’s search algorithm over the last year or so, you may have been paying for SEO services. And those services may have skyrocketed you to the top of the search rankings. After Panda and Penguin, however, some of those same SEO tactics may be having the opposite effect.
Meanwhile, Google has made no bones about marketing AdWords to small businesses, prompting speculation that promoting AdWords is really what Panda and Penguin were all about. I, however, am inclined to think otherwise. (Well, I suppose it could be true; I’m no Google insider and have never once been invited to a strategy meeting, despite my promise to bring donuts.) Yes, of course, Google would like you to pay for AdWords, but I don’t think that is the core intent behind Panguan (panda + penguin = panguan).
See, here’s the thing. You always pay to rank. Whether through paid search campaigns like AdWords, or through organic search. You always pay to rank. Continue reading the article »