Is Content The Future of Search Marketing?
Google has made great strides in ensuring that SERPS (search engine result pages) provide results that are as relevant as possible to the search term. Panda was the first significant change to Google’s algorithm and aimed at improving the quality of search results by lowering the rank of ‘low-quality’ sites and promoting higher-quality sites to the top of the search results.
Next up was Google’s Fresh update, which aimed to deliver the most recently updated search results, followed by Penguin, which sought to decrease rankings of websites that used blak-hat techniques and subsequently violated Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to manipulate search results.
The new kid on the block as far as Google algorithm changes are concerned, is AuthorRank.
The AuthorRank update will be interesting because it would appear that that more well-received and popular authors will have their associated content rank higher than unsigned content or the content of other less-authoritative authors. Essentially, your reputation as a content creator will influence the ranking of your search results.
So what does this mean for marketers looking to achieve good search rankings? First off, it means that you need to set up Google Authorship. Then you need to consider you’re future content creation strategy – because regular, relevant, quality content will be what drives search results of the future.
Google is showing that it values editorial integrity, which is why compelling, relevant content is and will continue to be so important to being found online. There’s no denying that producing good content on a regular basis can be costly and time-consuming, but this is where you’ll really get that elusive search-juice; the stuff that Google will lap up.
As a significant side benefit, your content-driven natural, organic rankings will give the perception of an established and reputable business, leading to significantly higher conversion rates and strengthening your brand proposition. Gone are the days when search marketing was about manipulating search results. Search marketing is as much about knowing the technical in’s and out’s as it is quite simply giving your customers what they want.
You should absolutely continue with your current SEO activity (keyword research, link-building strategies etc), but consider the broader implications of regular content updates from you, as a credible source of quality information. We already know that great content not only does great things for your SEO but done properly, engages audiences, makes connections were their were none and creates advocates for your business. Great content is a key driver of traffic to websites and will become more and more important as search evolves and discerning audiences become ever-more demanding in their search for relevant, engaging information to allow them to make informed buying decisions.
I’ve mentioned before on this blog that more and more businesses, both B2C and B2B, are becoming aware of the need to adopt a publishers mindset if they are to achieve success online – well the new AuthorRank update totally supports this view.
Ultimately, the bottom line is that to be successful with any type of marketing you need be where your customers are, with content that provides value to them. Do the right thing by the customer and you’ll never go wrong.