04 Apr 2012
Google recently announced the most major transformation ever to their search algorithm and how it displays results to users. The “Search, plus your world” combines data from Google+ networks and the public internet. These changes propel Google+ into the status of major player in the social network wars for our attention. How will these changes effect search engine optimization for web sites? What does this mean from a social search strategy? These questions and more had me curious and stumped, so I turned to the person who I knew could best shine a light into the changes and their implications; Ed Reese of Spokane’s Sixth Man Marketing.
Ed, and his company are among the most regarded and respected in their field of search, SEO, and other geeky type stuff, so I thought I’d sit down and ask Ed to “shine the search light” into what all this means.
So, Ed, explain the new Google changes in regular people talk?
What do the changes mean from an SEO and web site optimization standpoint?
It definitely makes an impact. This somewhat “officially” announced to the general public how important Google believes social signals to be in determining quality content. And while it’s still a read-between-the-lines statement to some degree, they aren’t hiding that fact that incorporating a Google+ strategy into your marketing mix will likely help search rankings.
So how did social media influence search ranking algorithm in the past? Google’s big announcement made it sound like this is a new ranking factor.
We’ve been tracking social media’s influence on search engine rankings since February of 2011. SEOmoz wrote a great blog post about Twitter and Facebook’s influence on search rankings last Spring that documents what was going on at the time really well. The best example I’ve personally seen is from the Bloom Spokane. Last February they wrote a blog post that ranked #3 on page one of Google for the very broad phrase “birth advice” within 48 hours of it being published. For a small non-profit to outrank big sites like Mothering.com, the BBC, and Wikipedia that quickly was pretty crazy. We found out that the blog post was shared by nearly 200 Facebook pages in those first few days. And some of the Facebook pages had A LOT of followers. Google was tracking Facebook shares as a signal that this was quality content. It was the social sharing that was the main signal to Google that this was quality content out of the gate. It’s received natural inbound links (the traditional ranking influencer) since and has gone to the top spot for phrase “birth advice.” But it was the social sharing on Facebook that got it to the top of page one so quickly.
How does Google+ play into things now?
Google+ amplifies that effect. By adding circles (networks) of people on Google+ with common interests Google is able to create its own social graph of and determine what the these Google+ circles determine to be valuable content. The biggest upside, however, is that through personalization people in your circles are MUCH more likely to see your content (whether a website, blog post, etc). The downside is that Google+ still isn’t widely adopted by the masses (and I’m not certain that will happen). That said, Google has been very aggressive in marketing it and the likely increase in organic search traffic will be a continued to bring business owners and marketers on board. We’ll see how that plays out in the long run, but for now it’s something that I believe people can’t ignore from a marketing perspective.
What additional information is out there that people should check out?
I’d talk to people with direct experience using Google+ that have SEO and social media experience. Get Listed University is coming to Spokane on April 27th and will be a great opportunity to talk with some of the best folks around to understand how it fits within a good SEO strategy.
GET LISTED UNIVERSITY TICKETS ARE $199. Get admission for only $149 with the NECTAR discount code at THIS LINK.
I know you have a Google+ class coming up as well. I think that would also be a great opportunity for people to learn more about it in person. In terms of online information, I think that SEOmoz has some great information about both Google+ and social media’s growing influence on SEO. Here’s a quick list of their best blog posts and presentations on the topic:
- Why Every Marketer Needs a Google+ Strategy
- How Google+ Uses SEO to Steal Search from Facebook & Twitter
- Social Media for SEO (Presentation by Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz)
Thanks, Ed, for dropping the knowledge bombs about Google, SEO and Social Media. Looks like ignoring Google+ is a foolish thing to do and properly optimized social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest are essential for rankings and listings.
22 Feb 2011
I’ve been on an SEO / SEM (search engine marketing) kick lately. As a new business owner, I’m starting to see the value of proper placement, key search term optimization, and Google (or Bing) ranking. In a previous post I wrote about how properly tagged blog posts can generate long term recurring traffic and how Google loves linkbacks (being referenced in other people’s blog posts). With Nectar Tasting Room opening, I’m more in tune with how people can find me online and being a part of the search terms people are using for wine tasting and wine events in Spokane.
If you have a business, you NEED to be thinking about where you rank in Google search. If you sell shoes in Sheboygan or parakeets in Poughkeepsie, Google search will improve your customer conversion. I will go as far as to say that focusing on search engine listing is the single best investment a business can make in their bottom line.
I recently had a conversation with a local search engine guru / god…okay, his name is Ed from Sixth Man Marketing about an upcoming search engine optimization seminar in Spokane. If you live here, I strongly encourage you to go (details below). If you don’t live here, well, your loss because Spokane is a really cool place. Regardless, Ed (a.k.a. SEO guru/god) was kind enough to provide FIVE SEO/SEM tips just for my readers. Shhhh…don’t share this post. It’s just for those that read this blog. P.S. Stay tuned at the end of the post for the amazing details on the upcoming Get Listed University seminar.
FIVE SEO TIPS
- Make sure your business information is consistent across the web. Do an audit of your brand and make sure the references you find are the same. Update any inaccuracies and make sure your business name and particular is consistent.
- Test categories in Google Places. Look to see if the categories you think will be a good choice for you produces a local search result (map). Test the categories that make sense for your business and track them to see which ones work best for you.
- Make sure your address and phone number are prominently listed on your site. This can be a sub-page but make sure they aren’t just in the footer. A page that calls our your address and phone number helps a lot. Also 800 numbers can really throw the search engines off. Use your local number if at all possible.
- Understand what citations mean to local search. The Get Listed Resources page has great information about them.
- Once you understand what they are, I recommend using the Whitespark Citation Finder to track them down.
GET LISTED UNIVERSITY
Spend a whole day with industry experts and search engine optimization pros at Northern Quest Resort and Casino on February 25 from 8AM – 5PM. Your fee includes…
- A full-day workshop to accommodate the amount of content & questions
- Classroom style seating for easier (and more comfortable) note taking
- A lab area for hands-on training! Get personalized advice from our experts.
- Updated presentations with the latest information about the Google & Bing search algorithms.
- More local success stories. Hear how last year’s attendees (and a few others) made HUGE gains.
- Lunch and snacks. After all, what’s a seminar without lunch and snacks.
- Free follow up class at LaunchPadINW Lounge for the first 40 people who register
Use the discount code “LAUNCHPADINW” and save $30 off the $149 price
VISIT http://www.sixthmanmarketing.com/get-listed-spokane for all the details! If you don’t go, you’re sorta silly!