If I am asked about the details of Google search engine algorithms I paraphrase the late, great Douglas Adams:
“If anyone discovers the reasoning behind them, they will be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. Many believe this has already happened.”
The changes a year or so ago to the search engine’s systems are certainly inexplicable.
Being in the first page of a Google search is extremely useful for an email marketing company so it is unfortunate there is no shortcut, or at least none that will last for long enough to be useful. As soon as one is discovered, the data will show this and so changes will be made. Many websites ignored the warnings with regards to paid-for links, and now they are down at page 20 or so. The best way of beating Google is to follow the rules.
Your website has many functions, the main one of which should be to gain subscribers to your email marketing list and this will be hampered if no one knows your website exists. So a sensible search engine optimising (SEO) strategy is more or less a necessity. An effective website content management company is not cheap. Thankfully, for those in a rather small company or one that has to make short-term decisions for the time being, there are simple and straightforward ways to boost your ratings.
Google’s new Hummingbird update does things a bit differently to the systems that preceded it, which was only too apparent when it went live. Some well established companies, habitués of the first two pages, are now, a year later, nowhere to be found. One of the main reasons for this is lack of high quality content.
There is no need to investigate all the wondrous intricacies of Google’s SEO algorithms to boost your website to earlier search pages. One thing which everyone agrees on though is that content is king. So what should your strategy be?
- Do not try and beat Google. Cooperation is the only way to climb the ratings;
- Avoid non-relevant or paid-for links. There lies danger;
- Post good quality copy on your website, picking subject matter that will interest your targets;
- Share content on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, these being the good links;
- Use what you have. If you produce a newsletter, include the content, at a later date, on the website. Don’t hide it behind click-throughs to generate subscribers to it, just post a little later, perhaps a fortnight or so. Readers will soon realise that they can get it sooner;
- Generate responses from your customers and readers. Get them to comment on a post, to make requests, to take part;
- Ensure the copy is new and is not cut and pasted from somewhere that Google’s algorithms can identify;
- If you have good, reliable and informative content, material that your targets will find informative, then ensure that they are aware of it.
- Tempting though it is, do not look on Google as the enemy but rather the solution.
To misquote Douglas Adams for a second time:
“It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problem just with links.”