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Content is king for Google

Content is king for Google

Mark - BlogIt is just 15 years in September that Larry Page and Sergey Brin first registered Google as a company based in a garage in Silicon Valley. Now with a market capitalisation of over $345bn Google is one of the most influential companies that have ever existed. 

One of the most frightening statistics of its influence is that Google accounts for nearly 70% of all internet searches and that only 5% of people look past page one of their search results.  I am afraid that 99.9% of the 6.2 million companies, organisations and people who mention ‘search engine optimisation (SEO)’ on their websites are largely going unnoticed if they are relying on Google for digital visitors.

Rising to the top of Google’s search rankings is becoming increasingly complex and the parameters for success often change with limited warning. When most companies first launched their websites at the dawn of the 21st century the techniques required to attract a good ranking from the Google algorithm were very different to what they are now. Most sites had a page containing links to recommended websites and relied on web directories for external links back to their sites.

Increasingly Google has become sceptical of link building for SEO purposes and has penalised websites which they believe are spamming content containing back links. Links from some paid for directories and press release sites are now deemed to be violating Google’s guidelines and the sites concerned are quickly condemned to positions way beyond page one for their important search terms. The way back to the top is slow and torturous.

In recent months Google has augmented these changes with the launch of a new algorithm update called Hummingbird, which is seen as one of the biggest changes it has made to ‘search’ for nearly 12 years. One of the main features of Hummingbird is to reward high quality content matching long tail search terms. For example, when someone searches for ‘socks’ it indicates casual searching. But if they enter ‘red cashmere socks’ in the search box they are likely to have a specific requirement and for commercial purposes are likely to be a live customer.

Hummingbird acts as a vital reminder for companies to update their website content not only to appeal to Google but also the visitor. Digital newspapers and magazines have made web users much more discerning critics of the layout and editorial content of corporate sites. Companies generate a vast amount of written material and they need to arrange it on their website in a way which not only makes it easy for visitors to find but in a style which keeps the reader interested and informed. Corporate ‘marketing speak’ has never been less appropriate.

A corporate website should contain a regularly updated repository of all a company’s relevant  public information – your mother ship in the internet universe – used by all your employees when providing information and status updates to customers and contacts. Hummingbird also rewards a strong social media presence especially likes, followers, shares and retweets with content that is shared on Google+ having the most positive impact.

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