Over the past two weeks Google has really been making big news and cleaning up their search results. First we heard all about the debacle of J.C. Penney from the NY Times for not playing well online and using too many black hat SEO techniques to even list. Some of the topics that they used to rank #1 on now are not even found in the first ten pages of search content. Clearly, Google will not tolerate people trying to cheat the system and has no problem acting with authority they possess when needed.
Then last week they announced major changes in social search results in Google. No longer will the results just show up at the bottom of the page, but they will now be ranked into regular results along with organic traffic. This means that social media platforms like Twitter are even more valuable to your business. I just did a test to see how this affected my results while logged into my Google account. As many of you know, we built custom WordPress Sites, so when I did a recent search, there was the link to our site sitting at #3 in the results. Granted, my results there might be slightly skewed as I am the owner of the social media accounts, logged in, and in the same geolocation, but when I checked with a friend on the other side of the country, I was #6 there. So, if you aren’t yet using social networks, START NOW!
Following these two big headlines from Google over the past 2 weeks came another HUGE announcement today. Google has declared war on the content farmers. Content farms are websites that simply pull content off of other websites and publish it out as their own. They are also sites that have thousands of pages of random content about absolutely nothing of value at all. People have built these sites because in the past the massive amounts of pages of content would rank well and help them to generate some good income through ads running on the sidebar and people clicking on links within to affiliate programs.
But, Google has recognized that these sites are not worthy of such well placement in the SERP’s and have started to take action accordingly. This means that sites that have a blog attached where users are generating their own unique content to their own site are going to start to see better ranking results. I noticed that already I have seen big jumps by some of my keywords. For example, that same term, Custom WordPress Sites, when I search it in a cache cleared browser not logged into Google, it used to rank on page two of Google. Now I have moved onto the first page of Google and am sitting at number 6.
This once again places a greater importance on blogging and writing new fresh content for your site regularly. If you are not creating new unique content for your site on a regular basis you will probably find yourself dropping down into the abyss of results with the content farmers, black hat SEO users, and plain old spammers. Develop a writing strategy, get a plan in place and start. If you don’t think you can find ideas to write about regularly, there are services to help with blog topics from really great bloggers. Saying you don’t know what to write about is an excuse that can no longer be tolerated.
From my perspective, I am really happy with these recent changes from Google and am excited to see how this will affect online businesses as things move forward. If your business isn’t as successful as you want it to be online, it might be time for a change.