What Google Has Taught Us about Search Marketing

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SEARCH MARKETING CHANGED in 2014, as Google altered its search algorithms. This upheaval forced web marketers to emphasize content to earn higher search rankings — an evolution that will continue throughout 2015 — according to “SEO Ranking Factors and Rank Correlations 2014 – Google U.S.” authors.

“Recent developments, both to the Google algorithm and with the impact of each specific update, clearly shows that relevant, holistic content ranks better over the long-term,” Marcus Tober, Dr. Leonhard Hennig and Daniel Furch defined in a white paper sponsored by Searchmetrics.

Researchers also recommend explaining keywords in the copy and coupling them with other semantic terms plus images to enrich the content. They found that better-ranked URLs delivered higher word counts, HTML lengths and holistic content.

Another change occurred with on-page keywords. Although keyword stuffing, or loading a webpage with keywords out of context to manipulate search ranking, emerged as taboo, the natural inclusion of keywords is favored.

Your goal should be to create easy-to-read content. The pages in the top 30 positions analyzed didn’t distract readers with advertising on the site or Adlinks of any kind.

This ability to score high rankings from smart content creates a level playing field for brands, a benefit small-to-midsize businesses can seize for increased visibility. The researchers found that “bigger brands rank among the top results, but not necessarily at position one, where smaller brands regularly take the top spot.”

So say goodbye to SEO gimmicks and rekindle your relationship with an old friend: the satisfaction of writing for people, not algorithms.

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