Whilst there are plenty of big brands that have suffered SEO setbacks recently, the biggest losers of the past two years have been those businesses that adopted SEO as a marketing channel without deserving to rank. Well-known brands will recover from penalties and thrive because they (usually) fundamentally have a right to be ranking somewhere near the top of the search results.
People often say that Google is supposed to provide a level playing field where small businesses can compete with global brands but what Google actually wants is to provide the best result for the user. If one business has spent millions creating a well-known and loved brand why should somebody else come along and rank higher just because they have a “better” SEO campaign?
A recent study by Havas found that the majority of people wouldn’t care if 73% of brands disappeared tomorrow. The big question for the SEO industry is – would people care if your brand stopped appearing on Google tomorrow?
The only future-proof way of doing SEO is to make your site the best possible result on the page, one that deserves to be at the top. Any site that ranks higher than it deserves is bound to drop down in the long term.