As Google continues to move forward with their Panda and Penguin updates, and as they struggle to stay relevant on the social media networking scene with Google+, many businesses, web masters and SEO consultants alike are also struggling to keep up with Google
It’s an ever-changing atmosphere, it seems. But not all hope is lost just yet. Based on a recent post by Traffika, which is somewhat reminiscent of Rand Fishkin’s video, “Why Every Marketer Now Needs a Google+ Strategy” at SEOmoz, below is an overview of some of the newest developments from Google and what you can do to prepare for Google’s continuing dominance of the online search world:
Google+ (Google Plus) is Google’s own social networking site, launched in June 2011 and generally thought to be similar to Facebook, but with more of a business focus and more sharing functionality (circles, etc). Through Google+, Google now has their own insights into the social behaviours of online users, allowing them to see how content is shared and linked to, without having to purely rely on data from Twitter and/or Facebook as they did before. Of course, Google+ also impacts how Google ranks search engine results, permitting them to again use social sharing and networking in order to “validate” a business’s growth in search engine rankings.
What’s the solution for businesses? Get a Google+ account — and use it. Frequently. Many SEO consultants are now incorporating Google+ into their social media marketing strategies, alongside Facebook and Twitter and other social media platforms.
Google’s +1 Button
Web critics and SEO consultants are forever comparing the +1 button with the ‘Like’ button on Facebook and ultimately, it has the same function: to “recommend” something to your friends/connections. The +1 button also feeds into your personal search results if you are logged in to Google and particularly if you are using Google’s personalised search function, ‘Search Plus Your World.’ Of course, the +1 button also gives the Google team insights into what’s popular, what’s happening online and if certain behaviour matches with their organic rankings.
What to do? Easy — write quality content and add the +1 button to everything you publish. The more your content gets +1’d and recommended, the more it gets shared and the more traffic you potentially acquire.
Google also made it possible with Google+ to tag the content you write. What does this mean? It means you tag yourself as the original author of your content, using your Google+ account, so that as your content get shared and works its way around the web, you don’t become “lost” as the owner. The other benefit is that if your article shows up in SERPs, your Google+ profile will show up next to it, as the author. This gives your content a clear identity and can boost the amount of traffic directed towards your site.
So, what’s the answer for businesses? Tag your content! Get a Google Plus account and use it to retain authorship. Even if your articles don’t generate a lot of traffic initially, you never know how/when/where they might show up in search results in future.
Don’t Forget About Links (and Quality Content)
Of course, at the heart of all Google’s changes and at the heart of its Panda and Penguin algorithms is the desire to drive high quality content across the web and improve the organic nature of Google’s search results (and thereby outshining other search engines). For businesses and content writers, means emphasising natural and strategic keywords and anchor-text links in articles and producing quality content that aims to benefit readers, rather than rankings. Now, more than ever, using certain “tricks” to manipulate search rankings will land you and your business in hot ranking water, so the key is to stay above board and remember one word: quality!
Abhishek is an SEO consultant and offers his services to a range of companies around the world. In his spare time he likes to travel and explore new places.