Similar to the unwelcome surprise of discovering that your local candy store has replaced your old time favorite confection with a sour ball, many businesses have discovered that Google recently replaced some search engine algorithms without fanfare, and the results for some websites have been less than sweet.
The headlines in April regarding Google’s mobilegeddon updates that reward mobile optimized sites predicted massive movements in rankings; however, dramatic changes arrived in early May with some large, well established websites incurring up to a 22 percent drop in online traffic overnight. While Google remains essentially silent on the amendment, small and medium sized businesses (SMB) must revamp their current digital marketing efforts to address the modification and hire writers to produce quality content. The era of keyword stuffing is long past with the launch of Google’s Panda in 2012. This new algorithm update refines the objectives of Panda, which punishes unrelated and repetitive content while rewarding relevant content with value.
Grasping how Google’s algorithm defines content that is thin and lacking in value does not require a Ph.D in advanced mathematics. The era of big data and the Internet of Things has given computational processes the ability to assess relevancy quickly and easily. Simply put, crunching a blog post through the algorithm determines whether the writer has spoken with specificity about the product, service or objective of the entire website.
For example, a website that offers designer apparel may post about a new handbag with something such as:
“New arrival for Spring! Beautiful designer handbags! Sure to be a sell out fast, so buy one now before the handbags are gone.”
Google will reward a far more specific posting such as:
“Stunning mid-sized, black handbags by designer Suzy Q have arrived in our Main Street store in East Podunk. Perfect with professional attire.”
But Wait! There’s More!!
The value added proposition takes into account the “why should I buy this” question. For a slightly humorous slant, consider the success of late night infomercials that have been targets of comedians for decades.
“It slices, it dices, it grinds and purees every type of produce imaginable! But wait! There’s more!! It cleans your toilets too!”
Amusing, yet the method works. Now Google will reward the blog or webpage that conveys the value and worth of the product, service or objective of the site. Thus the handbag example becomes:
“Stunning, black baguette silhouette handbag by Suzy Q is now available in limited quantities at our Main Street location. Professional by day, yet detachable handle transforms it into an elegant evening clutch.”
SMBs that have tight marketing budgets may shy away from the slightly higher word count, yet the quality of the posting will be rewarded rather than punished in rankings, which is what Google does. The search giant promotes and demotes. Thus, one high quality article written by a professional writer, especially one with a background in the related industry, will produce a far greater ROI than 10 poorly written and unedited samples. Rather than perceiving the search engine update as a calamity, SMBs can exploit the opportunities presented to improve their marketing efforts and capture greater market share.
Wendy H‘s favorite old time candies are Good & Plenty, Boston Baked Beans, Lemonheads and Necco Wafers.