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The War On Useless Content
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Penguin. It's the word surest to make the average internet marketer quake in their boots. Since Google's Panda Update, which affected a massive 12% of search results, the world of Search Engine Optimisation has gone through some big changes. Much like the early years, when keyword stuffed gibberish was the norm before Google sent these now considered black hat techniques to the SEO graveyard, the internet has been going through a change of identity. Early on in its life there was a veritable dearth of any information at all - with too many websites simply using nefarious means to boost their ranking free from Google's wrath. Recently, however, there was too much information and not all of it useful. So Google tried to change something, resulting in Panda.
A Black Eye for Search Engine Marketers
It was lights out in round 1 for a lot of internet marketers after the Panda changes, with the algorithm change focusing largely upon the quality of content. The one thing that Google wants more than anything else on this planet is a good reputation. It wants its users to find the search results useful and enjoy its service. Maybe then they'll convert into using other Google products too. Internet Marketers can take full advantage of this, however, and you won't believe how simple it is. Yes, that's right it's marketing.
So many Internet Marketers have lost sight of what they are doing. There is an obsession with SEO that started with the keyword stuffed garbage of the '90's and has evolved as Google has tried and tried to kill it. There's a reason it's called internet marketing and that is because it is, well, how do I put this... marketing! By focussing on gaining that Google link juice, you've been neglecting your own customers and driving them away. You've been relying upon Google Page Rank. Panda tried to show the error of this method: to show how transitory this method was, but it seems a lot are still stuck in this cycle.
Back to Basics Marketing
The way out of this trough is as simple as it is time consuming. A simple marketing campaign. The fact of the matter is that the internet is a tough master: potential clients give less and less time to your services, flitting from one place to another and capriciously changing opinions because of the latest trends. Yet you can use this to your advantage. By tapping into this love of informative and engaging content, you can draw these potential clients close enough so you can throw the net over them. Google likes organic content, organic links and organic rankings because that is what their clients are after. So do the same. Provide content that really shows your business for what it truly is. Market it well by creating interesting content that makes your future clients think about your product. Much like the Volkswagen 'Think Small' series of adverts, play upon your own brand and create something that people will want to share and will immediately associate with you.
Internet Marketing need not be any different to offline marketing, you just need to approach it on a shorter time frame. Each piece of content needs to be up to the minute, each tiny sentence should fit exactly what your perfect client is after. Get this right and they will flock to your door and that net will never be needed: they will beg to give you money for your product.
Along Came a Penguin
Which ties nicely into Google's latest algorithm change: Penguin. Penguin takes the anti-spam work that Panda started and takes it to a new level. Panda focused its ire upon content, rarely straying outside of its boundaries, so Penguin switches tact a little. Natural links are the order of the day for Google. Organic links as I mentioned before. What this means for you is an end to those tactics of, basically, buying links for your site. Google wants people to share and once shared, this content must be worth something.
So now we are all about social media. While it definitely was not Google's aim - which was solely to improve its customer's experience - the search engine giant has played nicely into the hands of big rival Facebook. When people share things, they go to Facebook. They want their friends to look at this great little article they wrote. So Facebook gets a load of nice content that keeps people looking at the site. While you, on the other hand, not only get all of these people potentially reading your content, but you also get a nice chunk of Facebook link juice. Tasty. Someone from these readers may want to share it on Twitter, so you get some nice Twitter juice too, while Bob in the corner pins it in Pinterest and Kate Diggs it. So there you have it, this quality content you have just created has been shared all over the social sphere and not only are Kate and Bob and Roger and Amy reading it, but you are getting links back to your site organically. Perfect.
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