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At the Mercy of Google

2 April 2014

Google is great for users, it instantly provides us anything we need to know right at our fingertips. However, from a business point of view their near monopolistic hold on online search means Google ‘own’ how you reach your potential audience.

There are plenty of scary stories of how Google’s algorithm changes have spelt near death for previously high ranking websites! In the face of this seemingly Orwellian control over the fate of your website, how can you take some measure of power back? Quite easily as it happens.

Some take an adversarial approach to continue to try to game the system, basically by evolving techniques associated with what used to be known as ‘black hat SEO’. Unfortunately, when a new trick becomes too commonplace, Google will simply modify the search algorithms again and these gains will be lost.  While inbound links and keyword relevancy still offer some indication of page quality there is a more effective approach to gaining better search outcomes. And it’s one that’s very close to our heart – content. Make sure every aspect of your digital presence is geared toward humans, not robots.

Yes, content is king. We’ve all heard that before but employing a strategy based on great content involves more than just having a blog on your website and filling it with keywords. This would likely be counterproductive. Recent moves by Google mean we can’t rely on keyword search terms, and it’s no longer possible to simply understand what search terms that led visitors to your website. There is now less statistical insight available into the content that worked from a search perspective but if you know your audience, or customers, you won’t need it.

The safest bet to satisfy the mysterious Google algorithm overlords is to create content based on what your audience are actively looking for. Your reputation and brand is demonstrated to your visitors through compelling content and ultimately this is what Google is looking for – the best content for your audience.

So, is SEO dead? No, it’s just evolving. SEO companies that align with this content driven approach are still a valuable part of any online marketing strategy.

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