Many business owners and marketers have heard rumors of multiple changes that Google is making to their ranking algorithms.
For those of you who have better things to do with your life than keeping track of the search engine behemoth’s every whim, congratulations on leading a full life.
Rest assured though that we here at Big Splash Web Design & Marketing have been diligently watching and studying the algorithm changes, each with cute names such as “Panda,” “Farmer” and “Venice.”
While Panda and Farmer’s stated goals were to weed out so-called “content farms” and other sites with little to no actual content value, Venice is meant to more tightly integrate local search results into Google’s overall results. We’ve known for months that Google was trending towards local results, since that is typically what a searcher is looking for. The Venice update simply takes that even further.
These continuing changes to the world’s largest — and from a marketing perspective, more important — search engine certainly generate a lot of buzz around the Internet. With some of these algorithm changes affecting roughly 35 percent of Google search results, this certainly makes sense.
And yes, anytime Google makes changes, we as website marketers do confess to a little nervousness, as we check up on our clients’ websites. The reality is, though, that with every major and minor update that Google makes, they are simply continuing their stated mission, To deliver the more relevent content that searchers are looking for. Like any business, Google is striving to make the user experience better for their customers. Because, even though you don’t pay to search the Internet using Google, you are indeed their customer when you use their search engine. Without people searching the Internet, there would be no one clicking on ads, which is the major source of Google’s revenue.
The takeaway for website marketing folks — and every business with a website — is still the same as it’s always been:
Focus on creating original quality content that is useful to your target audience, and then optimize that content with proper keywords and HTML structure to make it easily indexable by search engines.
That is one of the main reasons we, at Big Splash, make content creation the first stage of a new website project, since the content should be the focus of any website. Whether your content is text, images, or a mixture of the two, the content is what draws visitors to your website. No matter how many flashing icons and other gimmicks you try to stuff into a website, people ultimately just want to view your content. Of course, pretty packaging and nice presentation help with the delivery, but it’s still all about the content.
Quality content then carries over to properly marketing the website later. One of the primary SEO tools that we use here at Big Splash is the keyword-targeted landing page, which is essentially a highly focused page on your website that is meant to be a near-perfect match for individual searches. This way, we are building up the unique, relevant content on a website to match the most valuable user searches for that business. This provides Google with exactly what they are looking for: fresh, relevant content, without cluttering up the main site navigation for visitors to the site.
In case you’re really into all this, SEOMoz has compiled a complete timeline of Google Algorithm changes