Marketers have already learned they can’t earn better search rankings by purchasing links or duplicating web content, but Google plans to set the bar even higher. In a recent Google Webmaster Help Channel video, Search Engineer Matt Cutts asserted the site will continue to refine its algorithms to make it even harder for spam and black hat SEO practices to pass as acceptable.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise.
“Google has always been actively updating our search results. We always will be working on improving our algorithms and improving our search results. That’s what you signed up for if you’re trying to rank highly in Google. SEO is all about change. There’s going to be more change coming,” said Cutts.
Although the rules to the search marketing game change, the end-goal is steadfast: Create a great website that gives users a reason to visit, return and share with others. Marketers cultivating fantastic sites for the purpose of giving visitors great experiences will continue to rank well, while domains looking to cut corners in order for the sole purpose of gaining search visibility will be punished.
“SEO is all about change. There’s going to be more change coming,” said Cutts.
That doesn’t mean brands should be relying on the “if you build it, they will come,” idiom, Cutts warned. Of course ranking in a top SERP position for targeted keywords will give sites the kind of visibility that drives traffic and conversions, but ranking shouldn’t be a brand’s lifeline.
“I am all for having eggs in lots of different baskets,” he said.
Marketers should have a diverse plan that goes beyond search. Social media content should be used to generate leads, Cutts pointed out. It’s completely acceptable in the search engine’s eyes, and it is advisable to use alternative practices to reach prospects and connect with customers.
Brafton recently shared the merits of diversifying a digital marketing strategy should Google’s organic search cease to be the leading way to secure exposure on the web. Although this fate is not yet on the horizon, the message is becoming clear. Marketers must find ways to carry their campaigns seamlessly across channels, pulling from blog content to create print materials for brick-and-mortar stores, or drawing on video content to produce highly engaging social posts.