Over the past few weeks, there have been monumental changes in Google’s algorithm in what and how it displays its search results. The game has changed dramatically and I would like to point out in this post just how it affects most businesses.
Every now and again Google updates its algorithm to try and show searchers relevant content to what was searched for in the search bar. Not only is this to keep up to date with new search queries that are happening by the second, it’s also done to try and weed out unscrupulous webmasters they try to game the system with dodgy link practices and dodgy websites.
Google Updates It’s Algorithm Almost By The Minute
Many of us in the industry that build websites and optimise them for our clients knew these changes represented a major shift in how this now “public company” decided to concentrate on favouring large brands and their own links.
Take a look below:
By typing in the search term “credit card deals”, you can see in the picture above that the Google results show both Pay Per Click adverts and their own links (with pictures).
Note: Those links with the pictures are referral links to different credit card suppliers. Each time somebody clicks on one of these links, Google gets a nice fat referral cheque.
Also note: The Pay per Click ads are also Google’s own property. Each time somebody clicks on one of these ads, Google gets PAID!
strategically targeting future search queriesNow, at the moment, these results aren’t typical for all search queries and strings. However, you can see that they are strategically targeting future search queries that are highly profitable with very high user intent. If you look even closer, there’s no sign of organic search results above the fold (this means search results displayed without a person scrolling down the page).
This is clearly a shift towards Google making more profit. In effect, they are relegating natural search results for “usual business websites” and propelling sites where they directly make money and gain in the long run.
Unfortunately, Google is a public listed company with shareholders to report to and can basically do anything they want with regards to showing results.
There’s absolutely no obligation to show yours, mine or anyone else’s results at all if they don’t want to. This is basically the big shift I’m talking about.
Now, believe it or not, we’re not advising any of our clients to panic just yet. We also don’t want you to either.
You see, where there’s massive change and monumental shifts online, there lies several opportunities for the savvy. Yes, these changes aren’t great and Yes, they’ll start affecting every single website out there. However, as long as you recognise the shift in search patterns and take action to adjust your business. There really is nothing for you to worry about.
Here’s what we’re advising our clients to do:
Believe it or not. Search engines still need information to populate there search results. Yes they are manipulating the landscape. However, they still need new, relevant and fresh content to show their users. This means businesses and business owners need to continually add new and fresh content to their site on a regular basis. This is easily done by regularly updating your website blog as often as you can. Once a month is a good start. Once a week is what we recommend.
By this we mean, don’t try to advertise your services. this is your opportunity to educate your prospective and existing clients. Serve them up unique and interesting content they find useful and are willing to share by “tweeting” ad “facebook liking” your content.
You can be more engaging by doing information videos about certain topics. By video, I don’t mean a fully blown production. A simple “face to camera” is absolutely fine. Even if you’re simply using the video camera on your smartphone.
If your clients are online, they’re probably on the likes of twitter and facebook. Feel free to interact with them, join in conversations and offer unbiased advice where possible. Again, don’t pitch yourself or your products. Simply give them great advice without any strings. Do this enough time and you’ll start seeing a really great return on investment in the long run.
Pay Per Click (PPC )
Yes I know this is expensive. However, when you work out the life time value of your clients, you’ll be able to work out if this is an attractive medium for you to use to advertise your services. Your ads (if properly optimised) will also be shown above the fold where most of your clients’ eye balls will be. If you’re further down the page, odds are, you simply won’t be seen.
You may not be able to implement all of these changes at once. However, try implementing as many as you can and stay ahead of the competition. That includes Google.