Posted by Matthew Loop | 0 Comments
I’ve been warning about this for a couple years now and as the old saying goes, “the sheep are about to get sheered.” Take these words I’m about to write very seriously since it might just determine whether your business suffers a slow painful death or expands to record levels.
When the web 2.0 era was ushered-in several years ago, one of the most incredible things that happened is that the content publishing barriers were all but eliminated.
You didn’t have to submit content to a website, then wait to get accepted before it would go live on major news channels and be seen by the world.
The second barrier that was removed was the previously high entry fee.
Any business owner could create a video, article, press release, blog post, Facebook status update, etc… and be sure it reached the audience intended. In most cases you wouldn’t need to spend a single dime to reach the right people.
Well, my friends. The game as we know-it has officially changed. The internet gate-keepers have returned. Here 5 critical pieces of evidence that proves their resurgence:
1) Google SEO slaps
For many, SEO used to be a way for the little guy to compete with major corporations that had 5 figure / month marketing budgets. All a business owner had to do was to build more quality anchor text links to a site for any given keyword.
This was great if you had a legitimate product or service that was helping people. SEO has changed, though. You’re at an extreme disadvantage if you don’t have a high “author rank” and a large audience that can share your content.
Social shares and quality links from industry influencers are essential.
It’s VERY difficult to get them if you haven’t built a loyal audience. Heck, you could produce great content, but if you don’t have a base to share it with, your chances of going viral are slim to none.
2) Facebook goes “pay-to-play”
I recall a couple years ago when you could post a status and be sure it would reach the bulk of your friends / fans. Engagement and interaction was higher since you could actually reach your full audience. Not anymore. This video here explains the dire situation.
To reach all of your friends and fans, you must pay and use a promoted post. Edgerank doesn’t mean jack shit now. Yes, you can get more engagement and exposure if your posts are better, but you’re lucky to reach 25% of your total followers at any given time.
Those that built their home base and entire business around Facebook recently got a HUGE pay-cut. If you don’t have the dollars to spend, your chances of success on the social network are minimal.
3) Google Adwords bans
Here’s another instance where Google has ruled in favor of big corporations over the little guy. I get emails regularly from small business owners that have been banned from Adwords. They’re not doing anything black-hat or trying to game the system either.
Once you’re banned it’s for life, too.
Unless you have a five figure per month advertising budget, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to sustainably turn a profit from their incredibly high cost-per-click as well. Just like in America where the middle class is shrinking quickly, online we’re starting to notice the “haves and have-nots.”
4) Amateur Hour is Over on YouTube
Long gone are the days where you could just throw anything up on YouTube and get 1,000 video views by next Friday. It was great while it lasted though. Now, you must have solid strategy and you certainly need to know how to stand-out from the pack.
YouTube has also went from 4 ranking factors to 12. It’s much more complicated to rank your videos well unless you have a comprehensive guide like Social Media Elite provides.
5) Google Filtering Reviews (mostly positive)
Since I speak, consult, and deal a lot in the small business world, I get a few dozen emails each week that go something like “what happened to my positive reviews?” Yes, Google is filtering like crazy. Funny thing is that negative reviews always seem to stick.
Any filter on the internet is a gatekeeper. It’s sad to see countless businesses that have real reviews from happy customers never get show on Google+ Local (probably the most valuable real estate online for a small business).
Still blows my mind that a company like Google, as big as they are, can get away with having virtually non-existent customer support and troubleshooting for local businesses.
Now, I just described five irrefutable facts that demonstrate how the gatekeepers have come-back in full force. My prediction is that it’s only going to get worse.
It’s going to get more and more difficult for the little-guy to become known.
If a business can’t get real mass exposure and recognition online, there’s very little chance of acquiring SUSTAINABLE amounts of new clients / customers each month.
So, what’s the solution?
The solution is really two-fold. You MUST position yourself in such a way that makes you famous in your marketplace. When you’re well-known, prospects seek YOU out daily. You then have the credibility of celebrity, which puts you at the top of the food chain.
That one thing alone can add another zero to your income.
Secondly, you must know how to create UNSTOPPABLE traffic systems that feed your website and content regardless of what Google, Facebook, and YouTube are doing! You need to implement proven “attraction” marketing strategies that are sustainable.
Has your business been devastated by any of the five listed above?
If so, I’d suggest making it your top priority and commitment to making your business Google-proof, Facebook-proof, and YouTube-proof. Long term sustainability and market dominance should be your goal.
If you’re not committed to doing what it takes to achieve industry influencer status, you will never have the business you want. Not in today’s time. The gap is widening and the window of opportunity is shrinking fast as more barriers rise-up.
I’m not complaining about this since I’ve busted my ass and put the sweat equity into becoming a leader in a few different markets. Marketers like myself have much less competition since we’ve positioned our businesses appropriately and our content is favored by search engines.
This post is a big WAKE-UP CALL for the vast majority of small business owners, though. Easy street is over. You need to do what it takes to put yourself in a position to charge through the gate.
As they say, “he who has the gold makes the rules.”
To the same token, the business that generates the most profit can outspend any other competing business and inundate the market, overcoming critical mass quickly. The last thing you want to happen is to be in a position where you cannot afford to invest money in advertising and marketing.
Who knows how long the internet will be free…
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