Even if you are terrified and shriek and sulk away when you hear the word “algorithm,” as a marketer or small business owner you need to know about the changes sweeping through Google with its new (somewhat), ahem, algorithm, Panda. This week we will break this down so your head isn’t spinning just to learn some basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Although these changes have been slowly stirring since 2011, you may have noticed some updates to how Google ranks your page and how others appear in the search engine. The changes to the algorithm offer a balance between unique content and advertising as well as pushing sites to offer more social media integration, among other things. So say goodbye to the good ‘ol days where the highest volume of relevant keywords bumped to the top of the list. You’ve probably heard “content is king,” well you heard right. Through adjustments with Panda, Google has also given an edge to local businesses to level the playing field and essentially make sure that the small can now compete with the large, national corporations.
The simple fact remains: Google is focused on creating the best user experience possible. This means you should be focused on this, too.
Google wants it’s users to be able to find what they are looking for as well as have a pleasant experience in the process. Google is constantly looking towards the future and most often than not, they usually get it right, so we can learn a few things by looking at their current business model. With a switch to high-quality content, they also highly favor user retention. For example, if two identical businesses both have a blog but one has a higher bounce rate than the other (how long readers stay on your page), Google will recognize the higher bounce rate as a site with less value than the other, therefore, it will show up lower in search rankings. Google pays attention to this type of site statistics to glean more insight into how its users behave when interacting with the content they are being served.
So, the Panda algorithm and other changes to search engines like it, provide users with information to identify high-quality content and discern from the low-quality alternatives. This creates a sort of symbiotic circle between search engines and internet users where the users identify the content worth experiencing, Google recognizes it, and the infinite loop keeps going. So the message of this new type of “filing” system became glaringly clear: pay attention to what your users want, react by finding a way to fulfill those wants and you, your website and business will see your efforts climb to the top of the page.
AJ Printing & Graphics and Wine Country Signs is a