Google changes improve your visibility

Google has changed its rules in your favor. Technically, Google modified the algorithm it uses to rank search results in an effort to suppress “content farm” spam manipulation.

a fair fight for the top of the page

Content farms are websites that produce low-quality articles specifically designed to “trick” search engines into giving their sites high rankings, resulting in a huge flow of traffic – hundreds of thousands of earnest searchers drawn to sites that offer no value, wasting the searcher’s time and degrading the search results.

No more. In one of the most significant changes they have made in years, Google’s modification affected 12 percent of their traffic and suppressed 84 percent of the spammer farms.

That’s good news for you for two reasons – your searches are going to be more reliable and your site no longer competes with cheaters for search rankings.

basic building blocks for search success

The art and science of engineering a website to gain its rightful place at the top of search engine rankings is called search engine optimization (seo). esd has carefully studied and implements good seo in all of our Internet media. Optimization sounds sophisticated and techy, but it really consists of best practice for any communications initiative – clear organization of your most compelling messages to present relevant information for your audience.

The basic elements of effective seo have been known for some time:

  • developing well-researched keywords – esd keyword analysis examines a number of demographic and search results factors to determine a solid, compact list of relevant terms for every page or every site we build
  • creating a clean hierarchy of headlines and information – a good sitemap resembles the term paper outlines you did in school
  • tagging every element – every image, every text block, every page, every video has a descriptive tag that tells search engines what it is, and presents an opportunity to increase keyword density
  • unique content – the search engine’s first duty is to discover what’s different about your page, so we make sure the unique content is easy to find, and we avoid repeating sentences and other content within a site as well as from other sources on the web
  • intelligent use of JavaScript and Flash – web utilities make your site more interactive and animated, but they “hide” content from the search engines; we use these elements, but they are usually embedded in a healthy html site with good seo

the popularity contest

But it’s not enough to be the prettiest site in your field, you need to also be the most popular. As search engines have evolved, the practice of indexing words has been matched with other considerations to ensure a more accurate and productive search.

In addition to charting the content of your site, the search engines have devised ways to determine which sites are the BEST, determined – fairly or not – by which are the most “popular.” It’s not enough to have the most informative site about classic Corvettes – you need to have a site that others refer to, in the form of inbound links.

To determine popularity, the search engines look at how many people are sharing your link with others on other sites. That means that social media has become a vital seo factor.

When someone “likes” your site on Facebook and posts a link for all their friends (who in turn, share the interest with their friends, and so on), your site accumulates inbound links. Now, multiply that effect with every person that tweets your link on Twitter, mentions it in a blog or drops it into a comment on a news site in your industry. Pretty soon, we’re talkin’ real popularity, and a higher rank on the search engine results pages (SERP).

practice best practices

The Internet is the foundation of most communications initiatives. Build a strong website, then promote it through social media, search engine marketing and both Internet and offline advertising. Our channels have changed in the past 20 years, and advertising agencies have added programmers to the artists and strategists who communicate for our clients, but the basic practice remains the same: build a compelling message and spread the word as far and wide as possible.

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At esd, we write white papers on a broad variety of digital media topics, from lead nurturing and email marketing to search engine optimization and B2B buyer personas. Consult our media library for in-depth answers to all your digital media questions.