A Search Engine Marketing Campaign is very often set up to run for 12 months at a time.
In a world of instant gratification, this can sometimes be a bit of a surprise.
Does it really take a year for SEO?
But it doesn’t normally take a year for a campaign to achieve real, measurable, results. What takes a year is maintaining positions in search results.
In order to protect search results from malicious, misleading, web sites, the powers that be adjust the ranking formulas constantly. This is good for users, and normally good for optimized sites, but it requires vigilance.
There are widely accepted “best practice” methods for optimization. Top SEO firms implement these techniques everyday. (In fact, there isn’t a whole lot of difference in what the top firms are doing for their clients. It has more to do with the personalities than the methodologies)
The hitch is, anything considered “ethical” today, could be deemed a Spam technique tomorrow. The reason to have an SEO/M firm committed for a year is to anticipate and plan for these changes. And on the occasion that no firms sees the changes coming, experts already in place, with a deep understanding of the project can make updates immediately to offset the changes at the search engines.
No plan is fool-proof, and there are countless horror stories out there about what happens when a search algo changes. When you’ve got an experienced firm working with you though, you have an entire team committed to covering and adjusting for these unexpected hiccups.