How current is your SEO strategy?

 

Google keeps messing with us. As soon as we thought we had Panda down, they introduced Penguin. Frankly, we weren’t too excited about the learning curve on that one. Then they threw an invisibility cloak over keywords used in Google searches, which made it even harder to figure out how people were finding us.

And now we’ve got Hummingbird to deal with.

Google Hummingbird

Introduced on September 26, 2013, Hummingbird is Google’s revamped search algorithm designed to increase the organic nature of Google searches, reward websites that deliver useful content and let us search for stuff with phrases we might use when talking to a friend.  Or to a mobile phone. (Where can I get gluten-free pizza around here? Gimme the stats on the final game in the 2002 World Series.)

If your IT guy or gal is adept at second-guessing Google algorithms and tricking Google into finding you, Hummingbird might not be a welcome upgrade.

But if you’ve been posting useful, keyword-rich content on your website, cultivating high quality link-building and participating on social platforms in a thoughtful way, you’re in luck. By complying with basic SEO strategies, you will find that Google is trying to help businesses like yours come out ahead.

Both experts and high-growth firms agree that SEO is the most effective online marketing tactic for generating online leads. And now, Google is enhancing their search capability so that businesses and prospective customers can find each other faster.

The company you keep

In this new, more organic type of search, Google is inserting itself into (and making judgments about) your website’s online relationships.

It used to be that you could pay, trade or beg anyone to link to you, thereby improving your page rank. The more links the better, even if the originating sites were questionable or you had hired a troll to sit in a backroom and post comments (and your link) on a thousand blogs.

Google didn’t like that. With the introduction of “no follow links” and the ability to better identify “spammy” sources, spraying links throughout the Internet not only stopped working, it started costing you. Page rankings got spanked when search engines identified link-backs as originating from unsavory sites, unrelated content or artificially populated social platforms.

Roll forward to 2014. Today, high quality link-building is even more dependent upon good content.  Relevance is key. The bloggers, articles, websites and publications that are linking back to you should somehow relate to the services you provide.  And they should be coming from industry sources you’d be proud to hang out with.

So how do you inspire these like-minded folks to send their followers to you?

 

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sylvia-217x300Sylvia Montgomery is a Senior Partner at Hinge, a marketing and branding firm for professional services. At Hinge, Sylvia provides strategic counsel to national clients. She is a co-author of Inside the Buyer’s Brain and Online Marketing for Professional Services. You can follow Sylvia on Twitter @BrandStrong.

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