Google has been busy in the month of December changing up its search engine algorithms and advising webmasters of big changes in how it "racks and stacks" websites based on their content in the organic or unpaid search results.
Some of this new information will have far reaching impacts for websites and e-commerce as we know it now.
I feel that the information in this newsletter is very important and give us insight on how Google will be continuing to impact business' search activity on the Internet in 2013.
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Placement on Google is All About Web Authority Not SEO Tactics
Since 2005 I have been focused on building web authority website as I felt that this was the best way to truly place on Google and insulate myself and my clients from search engine algorithm changes. I named my blog the Web Authority just for that reason. Authority websites communicate transparency and confidence to the potential client. Now it seems that my focus on organic placement is finally being embraced by mainstream SEO gurus.
In this past year if your website placement dropped because of the Panda and Penguin Google updates your only way to re mediate traffic is to move into Google AdWords and drive traffic to your poorly placed site or spend time and money to rework your content while changing your online marketing strategy.
I have recently read an interesting article written by Jill Whalen on SiteProNews that speaks to the same focus that I have taken in regards to authority building strategies. She very succinctly spells out what works now and what does not. The article is certainly worth a careful review.
This is the bottom line from my own view point of what you should do to get organic placement on Google.
1. Re-mediate your problems first. If you have duplicate content, duplicate websites, poorly written or thin content; get rid of it now!
2. Create a content building plan. Invest in creating rich informational content and share your expertise on your website through a regular plan of content building. Share your expertise, as well as your view point with white papers, blog posts, and new pages on your website, remembering to cross link where appropriate.
3. Work your social media plan. The key is to connect is not just to churn out updates on social media; interaction and creating a rich network is key. I like Google+ and Twitter for my own uses as Google spiders these sites and adds updates to their own index.
I see more of my own updates from Google+ in the Google search index and so I make sure to try to connect there regularly.
Keep your follower to following ratios in check on all social media platforms. Make sure you have a difference with more followers than following. Google will reward your efforts with a higher SocialRank.
Authority sites do not get built in one week, one month or even in several months. It takes time to create and build content that gets rewarded for placement. As an example of an authority website, I invite you to visit my own and review the depth of informational content and the writing style that focuses on transparency. The same tactic I have taken for my own business can work for yours. Just ask me how!
Matt Cutts States eCommerce as We Know It Is Dead
This video from Google's Lead Web Spam Engineer, Matt Cutts, literally quashes ecommerce as we know it. Make sure you watch this video which states Google's new stated view of ecommerce sites and be prepared to give up trying to get organic placement for ecommerce enterprises that are reselling products.
Watching this video from Matt Cutts is incredibly concerning and illustrates a HUGE change from Google in regards to how stores can and will be placing and thus selling on Google.com.
Here's the hard truth from the video:
1. If you are not selling your own unique products, but rather selling someone else's products as an affiliate or reseller, you must have unique product content on your pages and invest in differentiating yourself from other competing sites as Google will no longer allow you to have top organic placement on Google.com. Matt Cutts clearly states the harsh reality in this video - as an issue for Google in regards to search quality.
2. If you do set up a store borrowing product content from your manufacturer you should expect to only be able to bring in sales and traffic from an investment on Google AdWords. Paying for SEO services to assist your site in improving organic placement will be money wasted if you have not addressed the most important consideration for your site's ranking which Cutts says is the issue of duplicate content.
3. Matt states that if you don't have the time or where with all to create unique content for your products, that you should not be posting them and selling on the Web. With nearly all ecommerce stores picking up cookie cutter content on products this is a very huge hit from Google in regards to how stores can and should sell on the Web. Will this impact stores like Amazon and big box stores like Best Buy? Certainly, but the greater impact will be on small enterprises that have made a good living from selling on the Web and have just recently seen their organic placement drop from the Google Panda update.
As I watched the video, I grew increasingly concerned that these new revelations would have serious and long term impact in regards to how small business owners will sell and promote their products on the Web.
I see this as a very strong shift to move businesses into paying to play on Google by forcing businesses to get visibility using Google AdWords. As I provide AdWords services this is not necessarily a bad thing for my business, but a very strong indicator and warning to the SEO industry that Google is changing their business model significantly.
Google's Matt Cutts on Guest Blogging and Link Building Clarification
Google's spam engineer Matt Cutts takes time in this video to clarify further how Google feels about guest blogging and answers if you use guest blog posts will your website be penalized for placement. This is an excellent video and well worth the minute or two to watch.
Here is the synopsis of the video in a nutshell.
1. If you allow just anyone without review to post to your blog or you accept blog posts that have been posted widely on the Web already, your own site's reputation can be impugned by this tactic and placement may drop based on Google's new filters.
2. If you are allowing articles that have been spun (meaning multiple versions created automatically with software changing the word order in an effort to provide seemingly "unique" content for each site you send to) to be used on your website or blog, you will most likely have your site penalized in Google for these activities.
3. Matt says point blank that if you are doing many guest blog posts or allowing many guest blog posts that may be of questionable syndication on your own website, that this is a "pretty good indicator of bad quality". If your website links to or receives links from sites like this, this can lower your own site's reputation. "Yes, Google is willing to take action against sites that are doing low quality or spammy guest blogging." Yikes! ¯
My recommendation to you is that if you accept guest blog pieces, they should be written uniquely for your website. I would recommend you use a service like Copyscape Premium to test if a piece sent to you is unique. I would not post articles that appear in many locations on your own website. A better plan is to get your own blog writer. I invite you to review our blog writing service program if you are in need of a quality blog writer.
If you do guest blog posts for others sites, I would be very selective of the sites you choose to write for and consider limiting your content to only one or two really high quality sites. Make the inbound links to your website be meaningful and not hurtful to your overall placement strategy.