Google’s Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal delivered a keynote address at PubCon Wednesday morning in Las Vegas and urged marketers to ensure that their search efforts are consistently evolving.
For businesses already using diverse SEO campaigns, Cutts pointed to the long-term adjustments their campaigns will need to make moving forward to maintain relevance. According to Cutts and Singhal, the 10,000-foot view, their name for long-term plans, includes the integration of mobile into search.
Businesses should tailor their keyword strategy to account for terms likely to be searched by mobile users. Meanwhile, websites and all actions implemented into a website should be fully accessible for mobile users. Like visits from a desktop PC, mobile web hits are opportunities for conversion.
Similarly, social media marketing campaigns improve SEO with greater inbound linking. Businesses using news content marketing often share headlines of their stories on Facebook and Twitter, which leads to more inbound links and greater traffic.
Both mobile and social lend themselves to local search, which Cutts and Singhal named as a trend businesses should be working in over time. Search algorithms factor a searcher’s location into their results, when privacy settings allow. Like mobile, tailoring content to include keywords likely to be searched by those looking for local businesses will improve ranking on SERPs where location is a factor.
In the near-future – the 1,000-foot view – Cutts and Singhal pointed to a greater focus on website design. Content most likely to satisfy user needs should be above the fold. The pair from Google said the company’s search team is currently working with its algorithm to analyze this and reward pages that require the least navigation.
In terms of algorithmic shift, Cutts said that the company will become more transparent. Motivations for this will be two-fold, most likely. Informing people of the adjustments will help the company avoid scrutiny similar to the fingers and questions pointed at it from Congress. Additionally, marketers will be able to improve their search campaigns if they have a better understanding of what boosts SERP standing and the behaviors that impact it negatively.
On the other side of the country, Google offline impact team member Matthieu McAuliffe said that SEO’s benefits are being realized offline as well. Speaking at ad:tech, currently going on in New York, McAuliffe said that just 7 percent of sales take place online, but search activity and web content impact decisions regarding where to buy.