This is the new era, of a content focus SEO at its finest!
It’s time to forget about the old days of spammy link strategies and poor quality content. As a search consumer, you no longer have to worry about going through hundreds of badly written articles and spam sites to find the one that gives you good information.
Like Apple back in the early days, Google+ has its fair share of skeptics. Recently, a report from RJ Metrics was published indicating that, although Google+ has seen some solid user growth, engagement still lags far behind Facebook and Twitter.
Google claims the report is skewed because of a small sample size and only publicly shared data is included. However, numbers aside, Google has made it clear that Google+ will play an important part in its continuous process to improve its search algorithm so that they can provide quality search results for their users.
If you’re a blogger, this is important. You cannot overlook the importance of social media and Google+ in your efforts to get more visibility and higher rankings.
Here are 3 reasons why you should consider Google+ as part of your social media and content strategy...
Reason 1 - Google will index you faster
Google is now using social media as part of its social proof strategy applied to content. This is done for two reasons:
Reason 2 - Impact on Personalized Search
As the web has become more and more personal, Google has started to reorder search results based on recommendations in your given social graph. For instance, if you search pancake restaurant in Google, you may now see a connection from someone in one of your circles who has +1’d a given restaurant. That particular restaurant may rank higher in the search due to the number of pluses they get.
As the difference between a standardized search and a personalized one continues to grow, an increased reliance on your social circle (or community recommendations) and a less reliance on link popularity will begin to dominate search results.
Also, your Google+ profile picture has began to appear in the search results of your blog posts, allowing your posts to stand out even more. Although, the value of social sharing is still in its infancy, its impact will continue to rise as does Google+’s user base.
Reason 3 - Influence
One problem that could arise for Google’s new +1 approach is that spammers would ultimately take advantage and be “+1ing” poor content. However, over time as Google begins to analyze their +1 data, they’ll be able to find individuals who have more influence than others, and weigh their results accordingly which would combat this problem.
These changes won’t occur overnight, however as more and more people hop on the Google+ train, search results will change accordingly.
In short, getting people to naturally +1 your content will get you more organic traffic from Google.. at very little cost to you. As Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land put it, “...+1 becomes the new Page Rank.”
It turned out to be senseless to bet against Apple back in the 80s, will you do the same with Google+?
It is Google we’re talking about here.
The last few months have been an interesting time for the city of Montreal. Blocked traffic.
Smoke bombs in the metro.
Students being forced to not goto school.
Sounds like an uprising in a Third World country doesn't it? (Many people who live here sometimes consider Quebec to be a third world province, but we digress...)
It all started when students rose against the government over the increase in tuition prices, but, somehow degenerated into a protest against everything that the current provincial government stands for. Whatever you political affiliation, what is fascinating though, is how important social media and the internet plays in the keeping the movement alive.
And how the people and even the police have used social media to push its points and maintain communications. A few lessons can be learned from this event for online marketers and we've boiled it down to two:
1. Real-time social media monitoring is necessary in order to keep up with the latest trends.
The Quebec student strikes seem to follow a similar pattern: organize, gather, protest, disband and often repeat. In scale the protests are quite significant, but the most remarkable component is the organizational abilities of the students, amidst the Montreal Police’s valiant efforts to put them to a halt.
If it were not for social media, student protesters would never be able to effectively organize and communicate in such an effective manner. Through Facebook groups, status updates and tweets, everyone is aware of the most up to date information - in real-time.
It may seem obvious, but the student’s dependence on social networks is a glaring sign of today’s reliance on the most up-to-date information through social networks.
So, what's the lesson for the online marketer??
In relation to online marketing, today’s newest trends and success stories will stem from the ability to monitor and respond to emerging consumer sentiment online.
In order for companies to develop strong relationships with their clients, they need to be constantly monitoring the social networks that their customers hang out at. Just as the police are monitoring the same networks that the Quebec students are using and likewise, the reliance Quebec students have on these same networks to communicate with each other.
Within minutes, hundreds of thousands of Quebec students can be informed and unite; the same should be said for online marketers looking to cash in on new trends.
2. Organizational mistakes or alterations can be amplified to have disastrous impacts.
The Charest government never thought that a $254/year increase in tuition fees would result such a massive uprising. Although small in monetary value, the scope of backlash has caught on to 83% of Quebec’s students. The protests show no signs of slowing and recently, the Quebec Minister of Education has resigned under the increased pressure of her duties.
The same could be said in the world of online marketing.
The ability of news and ideas to spread instantly means even small mistakes can have disastrous effects for companies. Back in January, McDonalds tweeted the hashtag #McDstories in an effort to promote positive stories from their suppliers.
However, unhappy customers hijacked the hashtag, unveiling a wide variety of unpleasant experiences they’ve had - such as finding fingernails in their burgers. @SkipSullivan tweeted, “One time I walked into McDonald’s and I could smell type 2 diabetes floating in the air and I threw up. #McDstories”.
Within minutes a parade of similar tweets was sent around the twittersphere, all in criticism of the Golden Arches.
As news and ideas spread can now spread to hundreds of thousands in less than a second, organizations must be extra cautious regarding the messages they send out, and also the people they put in charge.
A great way to keep up-to date on the newest online marketing tactics and trends is by learning from the best. Many of them share their knowledge on their their own blogs and Twitter feeds . We have a small list of some of the top internet marketers, their blogs and Twitter accounts. Read and learn from them!
Jill Whalen ( @JillWhalen) is considered to be an old-timer of the online space. She has been involved in SEO since the early 90's as CEO of High Ranking, a SEO agency in Boston. She maintains a great SEO newsletter called the High Rankings Advisor and is a prolific tweeter. She is highly engaged with her followers and provides some great insight into the SEO world.
Rand Fishkin (@randfish) is the CEO and one of the founders of SEOmoz.org. He has managed to grow SEOMoz to become one of the most respected companies in the SEO space. His knowledge of online marketing, SEO and social media is great. He and his team write extensively on internet marketing and have some great insight on how to rank well.
Todd Malicoat (@stuntdubl) is an SEO teacher who creates and organizes certification programs in online marketing for Market Motive. Another one of the old-timers in online marketing, he has been involved in the internet industry in many capacities. Most recently as a consultant for various companies such as Meredith Corporation, PBS and Real Networks. He has a great blog on StuntDubl.com , where he writes about SEO, social media and online marketing.
Dan Zarella ( @danzarella ) for lack of a better term, can be considered a geek. He is the original madman scientist of social media for Hubspot, always experimenting and trying to figure out how to improve online marketing. He also maintains a blog at DanZarella.com outlining some of his experiments. An interesting experiment he recently did for a federal intelligence agency was the use of Twitter to predict social unrest and map it.