Typically, Google’s announcements related to its search engine and updates deal with the quality of website content. The latest update from Google focuses on the originality of content, with the rollout of a new algorithm that uses copyright removal requests as a ranking signal. SEO news from Google – via its search blogs and updates offered at last week’s SES San Francisco conference – have dominated recent internet marketing headlines.
Google’s Amit Singhal reported on the company’s Inside Search blog that sites with frequent complaints regarding copyrights issues, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act or other problems related to piracy may drop in search rankings. According to Singhal, the company has received more than 4.3 million requests to remove copyrighted material in the last 30 days. Moreover, Singhal said that Google now receives more complaints in a given day than it did in all of 2009.
According to Singhal, the company has received more than 4.3 million requests to remove copyrighted material in the last 30 days. Moreover, Singhal said that Google now receives more complaints in a given day than it did in all of 2009.
Brafton reported that it’s unlikely that marketers will experience many issues related to this ranking signal, since the primary targets are sites stealing music, movies and other intellectual property. However, there is certainly a lesson to be learned about the value of original content to a website.
As the news of the ranking signal trickled out, many wondered about YouTube, one of Google’s most popular web properties. YouTube receives frequent attention for violating the DMCA and other copyright laws. However, Google clarified early in the week that YouTube and other sites that specialized in user-generated content are unlikely to have any problems. Essentially, sites that actively look to limit the amount of pirated or illegally shared content on their network will avoid issues with this new ranking signal. Brafton reported that user-generated content sites are especially susceptible to this type of problem, but any of them that look remove illegal content quickly won’t be hit.
There was also news regarding the Google updates the company releases more frequently, the company detailed its search quality updates for June and July recently. The report described five separate Panda adjustments that came out – three of which were full updates, taking the algorithm from 3.7 through 3.9.
There was also news regarding the Google updates the company releases more frequently, the company detailed its search quality updates for June and July recently. The report described five separate Panda adjustments that came out – three of which were full updates, taking the algorithm from 3.7 through 3.9. Other changes that came in the last two months include improvements to synonym recognition that can help marketers actively developing organic content that reads naturally improves their sites’ SEO.
Brafton reported that both the Panda updates and synonym recognition improvements were all part of Google’s consistent drive toward making its search engine better at providing users with high-quality content.
At last week’s SES San Francisco conference, marketing experts addressed the value of building keyword lists to include synonyms. As Brafton reported, attendees discussed how “keywords need context” to explain what a site is about to crawlers.
The conference offered abundant SEO and content marketing insights, with one session dedicated to link building in the post-Penguin searchscape. One presenter shared data indicating that exact match anchor text may not be as volatile as it initially seemed after Penguin, and he also advocated that marketers take the time to clean up their backlinks. In a separate “No BS” link building session, an SES presenter advised marketers to always act like Matt Cutts is their consciences.
Attendees weren’t left to imagine WWMCD (What Would Matt Cutts Do) as Google’s distinguished engineer delivered the day two keynote. He hinted at more transparency tools from Google to help marketers understand when they’re doing something right in SEO. Cutts also addressed marketers concerns about how Google is cannibalizing traffic in certain verticals, claiming that users come first but Google won’t turn its back on webmasters.
(Cutts) hinted at more transparency tools from Google to help marketers understand when they’re doing something right in SEO. Cutts also addressed marketers concerns about how Google is cannibalizing traffic in certain verticals, claiming that users come first but Google won’t turn its back on webmasters.
Still, marketers in the travel sector might wonder what’s in store for SERPs. Google acquired Frommer’s last week from John Wiley and Sons, Inc. This is the second travel guide acquisitions in the last year or so from Google, which also bought Zagat’s last year. Recently, Google integrated Zagat data into a new service, Google+ Local, and it’ll be interesting to watch the way Google use Frommer’s various properties and data.
Additionally, Brafton reported that Frommer’s publishing business puts Google in the be position of content creators should it choose to continue releasing Frommer’s various travel guides and web content. The decision would mean one more industry for Google to move into.
Despite expansion into new territory, Google remains the clear leader search. Both comScore and Experian Hitwise released search market reports this week, and Google’s commanding lead against its competitors was only reaffirmed.
Experian pegged Google’s share of the market at more than 65 percent, while comScore put it a point higher at nearly 67 percent. Meanwhile, Bing and Yahoo continue to flounder, as Yahoo accounts for between 13 and 14 percent. ComScore’s data did not show any drop in Yahoo’s market share for the first time in nearly a year. Similarly, Bing continues to innovate and evolve without much improvement in its share of the market. ComScore’s report pegged it at more than 15 percent of the market, while Experian found it was closer to 13.12 percent.
No matter the search engine (or social platform!) consumers use to discover a brand, it’s essential that companies produce high-quality content to engage audiences. The value of content for conversion was recently demonstrated by a study from BlogHer. According to the report, 67 percent of American mothers said they read blogs for advice on parenting as well as products and services to purchase for themselves, their families and their homes. Additionally, more than half of those who actively read blogs say they have made a purchase as a result of the content.
Meanwhile, a software solution being sold to marketing agencies should speak to the product’s simplicity and other common pain points of a target audience. Each element of a piece of content from the core keywords to synonyms to the overall language used will inform its place in search.
Marketers are also well advised to measure their search and social campaigns to understand which keywords and content resonate with visitors from the top of the funnel through conversions. At SES San Francisco, Google’s Avinash Kaushik offered tips for marketing measurement that can inform web strategies and drive maximum returns. As Kaushik said, it’s essential to optimize for all site visits – not just the 2 percent (on average) that yield conversions.
In general, the move to a more contextual understanding of webpages to make search results stronger means marketers must change their thinking. Content marketing can’t be just about marketing – it must be centered on providing value to users.