We Get it Google
By: Joe Prasad
Category: Search Marketing
July 6, 2012
In its continual quest for world domination and to create the best product for its millions of users, Google activated two major updates in the past 18 months. Panda and Penguin are friendly names for changes that shattered the hopes and dreams of individuals and companies, catching many off guard. Perhaps your website or articles have seen a dramatic drop in rankings even though you believed you were making all the right moves for the gods of Google.
The game has changed. Google is not particularly open about changes to its algorithm, but the bottom line message is clear. IT IS FOCUSED ON THE USER. This might mean adjusting your concept of SEO and making a few changes in order to increase the traffic to your site. We get it Google, just stop the slaughter.
It’s probably worth your while to review what you already have online and to remember the following as you develop new content.
1. Audience. The most important thing to me is to know your visitors. If you publish content on your own website, install a web analytics solution to keep track of the number of visitors and how long they stay on the site. You can even drill down into statistics for each page. As mind numbing as this may seem, it’s essential to know how people interact with your website. Depending on the number of pages on your site, the bounce rate might be important. If visitors only look at the first page they visit, ask yourself why. A more important metric might be the total number of page views. It’s important to fix these issues and get more engagement on your website. This is important for search, but ultimately if people are coming and aren’t staying you have to question the overall quality of your message and marketing.
2. Social media. Become active on LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, and any other social networking site if you haven’t already. Do not forget about forums that include professionals in your field. Share your content appropriately to the right audience, and you will see ‘follows’, ‘likes’, and tweets on your posts. These, inevitably, lead to more visits to your site and a higher ranking on the search engines. If you’re not on Triberr, what the hell are you waiting for?
3. Fresh unique content. It might seem impossible to develop content that has gone unpublished. You’ve probably read some version of this article somewhere. However, there are a few guidelines that might help. Write from your head and heart with your unique perspective. Put together ideas and topic elements that are not typically linked. Add a touch of controversy, if appropriate, by citing more than one opinion. In other words, add value to the content. Don’t be afraid to mix it up.
4. No keyword stuffing. For years, the pundits lauded the frequent use of keywords that would be picked up by the search engines. This resulted in some very strange phrases and difficult to read content. Users have expressed their displeasure with content with very little meaning but many keywords piled on top of each other. Know what your keywords are but just use them naturally, letting the purpose and meaning of your content shine through. Although I may want a site to rank well for the search phrase “mattress Sacramento,” using it continually in an article just sounds stupid and makes for difficult reading.
5. Inbound links. Quality is the key with backlinks. They are still very important and still a heavily weighted measure with Google. Focus on quality and not quantity, it’s that simple. A link from a high quality site with solid PR will do more for your site then tons of links from low PR sites with no relevance to your own content or business. You may want to run an audit to gauge the quality of your existing link building efforts.
If you want to keep the gods of Google happy, publish content that users want to read. Focus on the people you want to visit your site and write what you know will interest them as individuals. This kind of quality content, not contrived SEO bullshit, is what’s necessary for search engines and humans alike.
Got any other good SEO tips? Please share them below, and I promise I won’t laugh… just kidding.