I haven’t blogged much about search lately.
I’ve concentrated more on social. There is a reason though; for my money this has been one of the most stable times in the search sphere for a good while. When it comes to SEO, thankfully, it’s been a case of stay the course and work on your creative strategy.
It wouldn’t last, though. It never does! I wrote last week that search doesn’t have to be as complicated as people make it, especially if they follow the rules and reach out to the right people in the right way.
But there are times when Google can make it complicated. And irritating; just recently Gary Illyes of Google told people at conference SMX East that it’s worth keeping Google Authorship on published content for the foreseeable.
What?! Another official line from Google a good while back said that it was fine to remove Authorship as the company had effectively canned it. Gary Illyes says you never know when the Google search term may use it again.
Google Authorship, you’ll remember, allowed content to appear in search results with the author’s profile picture next to it. So if it was binned then why would people have spent time over the past year putting the code into their content?
What does your search strategy look like and how effective is it? Is it helping you to attract customers naturally on search engines? Let me know in the comments section below.
It would be the same as playing with a flat football in the hope that, if you were to keep kicking it, it would inflate again. But then that can be the deal with search and Google’s enormous search of the market; the message Google tends to send out is ‘the game is ours to change’.
And this is where companies have to realise that search is a flexible thing, constantly evolving but worth the investment – if you can cope with the shifting nature of the medium.
Because things are set to change again. (For the better, of course, for Google to deliver quality search results to its users.) An update of the Penguin link-quality algorithm should be released by the end of the year, according to Google, and amazingly it should work in real-time.
That means, if you were to be penalised by Google for a link penalty, they will penalise you as soon as it’s discovered. However, the penalty can also be lifted just as quickly instead of waiting for days, weeks, and potentially months.
Back to basics
Other algorithm work continues to happen with content-quality algorithm Panda still rolling out its version 4.2 update which will take months to complete.
Google My Business has also had an update, though mainly visual to improve the overall user experience. Rumour has it that video ads may start cropping up in search engine results to help the company make money.
So what can you do about it? The absolute best thing you can do is to have as progressive a search strategy as possible; one that is creative and covers the basics well, but one that’s also flexible enough to change with the tide as and when Google does indeed decide to change the game.
Because they invariably do. But the basics always stay the same; create and build relevant links with people and websites, make sure you’re mobile compliant, provide an incredible user experience, speedy site loading times, positive social signals, producing engaging content, and more.
How progressive are you being with your search techniques and what creative methods of outreach are you using? Let me know below!
Worth the investment
When I mention staying flexible, what I mean is holding tight, having patience, and seeing how the land lies. Because if you stick to the basics and do them well then it should be easy enough to make any changes as and when they happen.
Take link building, for example, and the first release of the Penguin algorithm which hit millions of website owners. The vast majority of those affected were people that had aggressively built poor-quality and paid-for links – a clear violation of Google’s link building guidelines.
Those that were doing it the right way and building a solid link portfolio were by-and-large fine with some even getting a rankings boost from their competitors being penalised. They could then build further on that with the new algorithm in mind.
There are countless success stories when it comes to using SEO to generate inbound interest. Cartelligent, for example, managed to increase its search traffic by 400 per cent in the space of a year according to MarketingSherpa. But inbound marketing with search is as much about the philosophy as it is about what you’re actually doing.
That may sound a bit Brendan Rodgers (Rest In Peace) but it’s very true. Especially for those companies that are getting pitched all sorts by search firms. Want to get to first position in Google by spending thousands? Good luck, you’re going to need it.
Instead of investing in tips and tricks to try and get quick gains spend your time and money on a grassroots creative strategy that will attract searchers in a natural way, mixing in social and content strategies to get the best results.
Because the one thing that won’t change any time soon is the size of Google and the sheer amount of the search market it commands. While other search engines can be useful for inbound leads Google is the main driver and it’s important to treat it with respect.
But don’t rely solely on it. Complement your relationship with Google with email marketing, social outreach, content creation, and much more besides to build real relationships with your customers and provide them with a service better than your competitors.
If you’d like to learn more about search engine optimisation and how it can help generate inbound leads for your business contact Webpresence and speak to a representative now!