It can be a challenge to keep on top of the latest online marketing news, but it’s our job to stay on top of the latest developments in Search Engine Marketing — especially for Google, which still brings in over 80 percent of the overall traffic to a website. Recently, Matt Cutts spoke about tweaks to the Google algorithm and how they’re evolving online search capabilities. All of this is VERY relevant and important for your business as you look to maintain relevance and position in the search engine results.
Once upon a time, brands were using programs called “article spinners” to change out a few words and republish almost identical pieces of content online. Another method was to use outsourced writers in developing countries or low-level copywriters to alter the structure of the article and make the wording more “unique.”
According to Cutts, Google is hunting for truly unique content that adds value. They often stumble across sites with content that mirrors that of other sites. “While they’re not duplicates, they bring nothing new to the table,” he explains. On one hand, these publishers aren’t doing anything wrong… but they also shouldn’t expect to rank well for simply copying another site’s content and business model. He says that the best sites will feature content from one’s own experience and first-hand knowledge to deliver content that is one-of-a-kind.
Small Businesses: It’s a popular misconception that Google rewards their advertisers with improved rankings. Large brands do have an advantage in that they possess the manpower and the capital to churn out large amounts of fresh, unique content. However, Cutts explains that smaller brands can build a reputation online by establishing authorship, creating valuable content, social networking, promoting review sites and link-building.
Large Businesses: What about a chain that owns many different locations? How should a business owner handle content creation? One problem big brands run into is that they use the same product / service description on every location website… which ranks as Duplicate Content! “In addition to address and contact information, 2 or 3 sentences about what is unique to that location and they should be fine,” advises Cutts. Any articles or blogs on the site should be completely original.
While the concept of an infographic is great, Cutts says he’s concerned about people who do not fact-check and mislead people. Where’s the value in that? Cutts advises, “Any infographics you create will do better if they’re closely related to your business, and it needs to be fully disclosed what you are doing.”
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