More than two years ago I announced the death of SEM. Seems that was a little premature.
At the time it was a valid response to Google’s magical ability to push the best results to the top, all on its own. I counted on Google to continue their focus on quality search results. In hindsight that was a naive assumption. As a publicly traded company Google will (must) focus on profits. In recent times that focus seems, to me at least, to have been at the expense of quality.
Since my announcement two years ago my focus has been on delivering the best possible user experience on our sites, rather than worrying about pleasing a search algorithm. The result has been a steady decrease in site traffic as our competitors SEO-ed their sites into ever higher slots on Google and co. Across a broad range of keywords we are now outranked by sites that are thin on substance and high on SEO.
Not too long ago we were still #1 for the phrase “globe logos” with this page. At the time of writing we are #8. Alas, SEM lives on.
If you’re looking for a good Google alternative, have a look at duckduckgo.com. Terrible name, terrible logo, but it looks like an honest and capable little search engine.
On the plus side, with our globe logos page occupying the number 1 spot for the past 7 years or so, I have been reluctant to make major changes to it. The occasional loss in rankings could be viewed as a window of opportunity to dramatically update old pages.