If your Website Appeals to People, it will Appeal to Google too02 September 2012
The SEO industry is reeling after the most recent Google algorithm updates, Panda and Penguin. It’s clear that Google is focused on improving the service to their search engine’s users by recommending websites that are contextual, original and offer a quality overall user experience. These updates have most certainly emphasised that!
The website marketing industry and specifically the search engine optimisation sector is a highly competitive one. This “fight for your buck” phenomenon has forced many search engine marketers and optimisers to turn to trickery and tactics that violate Google’s best practice guidelines. In retaliation, Google hires the finest and brightest to counter this spoofing and they’ve developed algorithms that use artificial intelligence in new ways to enforce their best practices guidelines.
Panda, which launched around February 2011, proved only to be a slap on the wrist compared to Penguin, which was launched in April. It sent out a clear message to webmasters still trying to "trick" the search engines into ranking them ahead of their competition. Both the Panda and Penguin updates contained very clear messages for internet marketers to stop focusing on technology and tricks and start focusing on their users.
The Panda and Penguin messages go even deeper though. The search engines are not the only place on the web where a brand needs to maintain a strong presence. The online interactive exchanges that people have with each other and with the brand are happening on the social platforms - and the search engines are placing an increasing importance on how these conversations influence their views on brands and how their websites should rank.
This means that a brand can no longer rely on only a well-optimised website to earn Google's attention. A brand must be a conversationalist, going where the people are and engaging them in discussion; and by doing that maximize its reach.
So rather than asking yourself, "How do I optimise my website to better rank with search engines?" ask, "How can I optimise my website so that it's spoken about and shared?"
Tips on Social Media Optimisation
Engage with fans on Facebook
Simply announcing what your company is up to isn't going to get fans engaging with your brand. Posting information that is relevant to your brand and of interest to your stakeholders has a much greater effect. Invite questions, suggest and share other reading and provide links to content. The objective is to have open conversations with your fans.
Tweet about topics of interest
The search engines have Twitter signals to determine which brand deserves top rankings. These signals include keywords and brand name level. It’s important to know your stakeholders so that you can provide information that will be of use to them – so they will not only follow you, but also retweet what you share.
Upload videos to YouTube
Remember that Google owns YouTube, making the uploading of videos to YouTube very important so that it optimises your brand as well as your website. When content is engaging, people what to share it.
Share information on Google+
Google owns Google+ too. As Google+ gains in popularity, the conversations on there will help with brand and SEO. People have been somewhat slow to add another social media profile to their online presence, but Google+ is key to Google’s success in the social media channel - and I’m sure that they have the smartest minds on it (let’s face it, they can afford it), pulling out all stops to get it off the ground.