What is Adaptive SEO?

Posted by Chuck Bankoff On September - 11 - 2013

First you have to understand that Google’s objective is to promote the best websites, not the best “optimized” websites. Search engines want to display the most accurate and varied results for each and every search query. Search engine optimizers know basically what the engines are looking for and attempt to gain a competitive advantage by “gamming” the system.

These techniques were not only publicly advertised, but considered industry best practices. The problem was they never met Google’s guidelines in the first place…they just happened to work.

What is Adaptive SEO?

Google is Smarter than You and everyone you Know.

You might assume “Adaptive” means reactive, but that’s not quite accurate. In fact where SEO is concerned it’s just the opposite. For years search engine optimization companies have been reacting to Google and adopting their techniques to outsmart the search engines.  These practices not only proved to be unsustainable, but have taken a dramatic turn for the worst. Regardless of what you think, Google is smarter than you, and everyone you employ… regardless of how tricky you think you are.


Adaptive SEO is about Web Presence Optimization, not Search Engine Optimization.

Adaptive SEO is about NOT playing cat and mouse with the search engines. It’s about developing a legitimate long-term, bulletproof web presence by doing things right. It’s about developing and sharing good quality content, it’s about link “earning” not link building. It’s about a good sound technical structure for your website, with easily indexable pages, clear navigation and fast load times. It’s about being mobile friendly and socially active (yes, your social presence is an actual search engine ranking factor). It’s about reviews and reputation and citations on directories and other reputable and industry related websites.


So where did your Google Rankings Go?

Did you used to have top rankings for all those money keywords, but they literary dried up over night? …and I do mean overnight. If you’ve seen a slow decline in rankings, or if your rankings fell off a cliff on a specific date, it was most likely because your SEO team wasn’t playing by Google’s rules.

So what happened? Were you actually penalized for these tactics? The answer is both “yes” and “sort of”. “Yes” if these tactics were blatantly overused, “sort of” if all those tactics which were previously sustaining your search dominance were simply no longer being counted.

Backlinks (links from other website, directories and web properties around the Internet) are a ranking factor. Suppose you had 1000 incoming links, but 950 of them were cheap “spammy” links that your SEO company purchased instead of earned. There was a day when you woke up and Google decided to no longer give you credit for those 950 spammy links. Now you have only 50. Naturally your search results are going to take a hit. Were you penalized? Sort of…it was more like a “correction” similar to what the stock market goes through periodically.  Similar to investing in good quality stocks with a track record of a return over time, Adaptive SEO is about investing in quality techniques and developing a sustainable long-term strategy…not about using questionable practices that will eventually stop working.


Where to start?

Start with the Research

Kreative Webworks Inc. Orange County CA Internet Marketing
Kreative Webworks
is a full service Digital Marketing Agency serving Orange County California since 1999.



Google Wages War on Black and White Animals!

Posted by Chuck Bankoff On October - 13 - 2012

Can you name their next victim?

Is it just me or am I the only one who made the connection between Google’s war on monochromatic animals and old time Western movies?  You know the ones where you can tell the good guys from the bad guys by the color of the hat they wear.

It wasn’t immediately apparent when Google’s historic Panda algorithm was released in early 2011, but when Penguin made its debut earlier this year, I thought a blind man could see it with a cane.

In simpler times Hollywood made it easy for us to tell good from evil. Darth Vader…dressed in black from head to toe. Jedi Knights? White robes of course.

Is it any wonder search engine optimizers typically fall into two separate camps…those who pay attention to what search engines are actually looking for and actually manage their clients websites accordingly, and those who take shortcuts and look to exploit temporary vulnerabilities for short term gains.

In other words; white hat vs. black hat…good versus evil…black and white animals like Panda’ and Penguin’s.

OK, so that begs the question; what is the next black and white creature for Google to bastardize?  Here is my short list:

  • Zebra
  • Orca
  • Skunk (my personal favorite)

What did I miss? Let me know in the comments below (no fair Googling )


How Does Google's "Quality Score" affect my PPC Performance?

Posted by Chuck Bankoff On November - 9 - 2010

So you think that if you bid more for a certain keyword than your competitor you will show up higher in the paid search results? Makes sense, but It’s not that simple.

Let’s start off with the premise that the lower your quality score, the more likely you are to pay for a click and the lower your relative positioning on the search results page.

The Google Quality Score is determined by a variety of different factors but I want to focus on only one for now: Click-through-rate (CTR). That is the percentage of the times that your ad has the potential for being seen on the search results, verses the actual times it is clicked on.

Note that I said the “Potential”. That means if you bid too low and are on page 3 of the search results, technically your ad has the “potential” of being viewed… but it is unlikely it will ever be seen or clicked on. Your quality score is updated often. In fact every time your key word has the potential for being viewed that fact is recorded and your score is ultimately recalculated.

Why does Google do this? They tell us it is their way to help serve up the most relevant results. Since CTR is only one factor in the Quality Score that affects user experience, I’m certain this is valid. However I believe there is also an economic component to this.

Let’s do the math:

Suppose your competitor is paying $2.00 per click for a certain keyword, and on average they get about 100 clicks each day. Google would make $200 per day.

Suppose you are also willing to pay $2.00 per click for that same keyword, but you only average 50 clicks per day. You only made Google $100, whereas your competitor makes them $200. Google likes them better…

Suppose that you are willing to pay more per click to show up above them in the search results, but you still only get 50 clicks per day. How much more do you have to raise your bid before the economics work out in Google’s favor?

What are some of the factors that affect CTR?

  1. Positioning on the search results: Generally the higher you show up in the search results, the more clicks you will get. That does NOT necessarily mean that you are getting a better ROI.
  2. Relevance of the ad to the keyword being searched on: If you are using an “all purpose” ad for a bunch of seemingly unrelated keywords, less people will click on your ad because it doesn’t appear to meet their search requirements.
  3. Quality of the ad: The more intriguing the ad, the better chance you will spark the searcher’s interest and earn a visit.
  4. Brand recognition: If your brand is more recognizable, you stand a better chance of getting that click.

Remember, every time that you search on your keyword to see where you rank and you don’t click on your own ad, your quality score just suffered a little bit. I’m not suggesting that you actually click on the ad yourself (you don’t get a discount from Google because it’s your ad). I am suggesting that you trust your reporting metrics, or enlist a PPC management professional to monitor performance and make adjustments accordingly.

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