Why do you need SEO ?
World Wide Web statistics estimate that Google has indexed as many as 50 billion web pages. Any regular query on Google will typically bring back millions of results. If you hope for your business to be found among these billions of pages, you need to ensure that your site is very well optimised for higher organic rankings.
And when we say “higher”, how high are we talking? Studies have found that the vast majority of searchers do not go past the first three search results pages on Google. What this means is that if your website does not rank within the top 30 for your target search terms, you are unlikely to get much organic search traffic.
How Google Algorithm Changes Are Impacting Marketing Processes
Ever notice how you have to go back and make changes to your website each time Google makes an algorithm change or adds a new algorithm? Some of the most significant changes since 2008 impacted not only websites, but how a business markets itself on the Internet.
Google makes many changes over the course of a year, and trying to address each and every one of them is not necessary. Many of the changes are designed to hinder cheaters and fraud websites from abusing the system and getting to the top of the search results.
Conceptually, it is important to understand the impact on your business when these changes are made.
It is equally important to understand that web marketing has no endpoint and change is inevitable. “Expect change and accept change” is something I have presented in years past. Trying to fight the dynamic and fluid environment of the web is not logical for your business, nor is it fruitful use of your time. Keep emotion out of it, press forward and adapt to the changing environment.
We will review a few of the more prominent algorithm changes by Google and what organic marketing impact it has had on business. Advertising related topics are not being covered in this discussion.
What To Do About Google Algorithm Changes
The bottom line is businesses need professional help to manage their website, the marketability of the website, and businesses brand marketing.
While internal staff is capable of executing the tasks of the process, they do not have the experience a professional firm can provide working across multiple customers and industries. Internal staff tend to become stagnant in their knowledge as they are single focused.
A financial factor comes from businesses using their financial resource inefficiently because they are either under or over reacting to the changes they don’t really understand. The reactions, absent proper knowledge and objectivity, are focused on wanting maintain revenue. In fact, they are making their situation worse.
The environment of change is rapid. Someone has to be able to interpret how these changes are affecting the short-term, while planning how things need to move for the long-term. Understanding the history becomes very important while expecting change, accepting change, and becoming an early adopter of new ideas. There is no room for the status quo when it comes to Internet marketing and adopting changes early is important.
The following tips will help you to stay up to date with the latest algorithms and plan your strategy for potential SEO changes in the future.
1. Avoid Shortcuts
Pretty much all of the advice written in the past few years for improving SEO in the wake of Google’s Panda (2011), Penguin (2012) and Hummingbird (2013) algorithm updates still applies, but is perhaps even more relevant in 2014. Since the introduction of Panda and Penguin especially, businesses who have tried to cheat their way to the top have been penalized with a lower position on search engine rankings and, with the further improvements to these two algorithms, websites use spammy content can expect an even more severe penalty.
2. Improve Your Content Marketing
Content marketing has moved from being merely useful to of central importance to SEO strategies this year. Google’s algorithm changes continue to shift the focus from keywords to subjects - from trying to understand the keywords that might reflect the subject of a search query to trying to gain a semantic understanding of the query subject itself. In a way this simplifies things, as it frees up more time to create content your audience finds relevant and useful.
In general, Google and other search engines are now favoring websites that can show a robust content marketing effort, determined by factors which include publishing regular and helpful content targeted at a specific audience, frequent sharing and engagement on a range of social networks, and ranking authority, which is associated with the number of quality back links.
Showing your commitment to social media is particularly important, which you can achieve by creating a strong profile, ensuring your content is sharable, and taking an active role on social networks that are important to your industry and customers.
3. Keep an Eye Out for Algorithm Changes
Hummingbird is just the first of what could be several algorithm changes as the search giant attempts to respond to the rapid shift toward mobile devices. This means that mobile performance will have an even greater impact on SEO rankings.
In order to be successful, you need to pay attention to everything from how you design and structure your content to what content you release. If you are not doing so already, you need to develop a mobile-optimized website and/or take a mobile-first approach to website redesign.
4. Give Up Guest Blogging
In recent years, guest blogging has become increasingly popular for its usefulness in gaining inbound links and targeted traffic. However, in Google’s new content-focused search paradigm, it is falling out of favor, and quickly. The main culprit? Too many spammy guest bloggers. Don’t believe me? Feel free to read it from the horse’s mouth, who in this case is Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam Team (and unofficial oracle of Google SEO best practices):
So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.
Boasting over two-thirds (67.5%, to be exact) of all internet search traffic, Google continues to reign supreme in the world of search. Follow these four tips, and you should be able to stay on the tech giant’s good side.
Links from related websites
Industry associations, partner companies, other companies in the same field that are not direct competitors, and websites providing information relating to your business and industry are all viable options to approach for links to your website. In these cases you could also provide links back to their website from yours as a courtesy, without worrying about being penalized by search engines, since these links would, in all probability be relevant.