In late September Google made a significant change to their search algorithm. In fact, they completely changed the algorithm for the first time in several years but it appears that searchers did not even notice. As an online marketer should you notice?
The answer to that question is “probably not” as long as you are adhering to Google’s prime directive: “concentrate on delivering the best possible experience for your user by creating content that other sites will link to naturally—just because it’s great.” In other words, good content is always the ultimate goal.
Hummingbird Better Handles Longer Search Phrases
Google changed their algorithm to Hummingbird because they noticed that search stings were becoming longer and more complicated. Instead of searching on a single word or phrase people were “talking” to the search box using natural speech. In fact, many people are really talking to their devices rather than typing. Google determined based on the results that they were providing that there were many listings shown to the searchers that did not apply to their complicated search.
Good News for Good Writers
Because of this Google developed Hummingbird to not only provide more relevant results now but to make it better going forward. As a content creator this is good news IF you write good content. For sites that rely on old, SEO tricks like keyword stuffing the news is not good. Those sites will continue to drop in rank as a result of Hummingbird.
In some ways, Hummingbird is like the BCS college football ranking system. The BCS depends on the rankings of other ranking services to help determine the final ranks for their poll. Hummingbird includes “over 200 ingredients” that go into the final recipe. This includes PageRank which is one of the earliest elements used by Google to rank website content.
Google will Never Stop
And if you take nothing else away from this post remember that Google never stops. They are always looking at ways to improve their search algorithm. They do this to make their searchers happy. Therefore, if your content = happy readers then your content = happy Google.
Content marketing is the best way to promote a business. Let’s spend a few minutes to understand what it is, why it is important, and provide some simple guidelines on how every business owner can effectively create a content marketing strategy.
What is Content Marketing
If you do a search on the phrase content marketing then you will find many definitions of the term. Most I don’t like because they seem to want to overly complicate what it is. Though the following definition may not be perfect or exact it does capture the essence of what it is: content marketing is telling stories about your business. Continue reading
Ryan Holiday‘s book, Trust Me – I’m Lying, is a great primer on how easy it is to use bloggers to distribute your content. But also includes significant warnings on how this tactic can be manipulated. The following passage is typical of the kinds of gems you will find in the book.
When you are promoting a post about something that has potential to become viral but is not important enough for the major media outlets to care about then “post in a lower traffic tier with the understanding that content filters up as well as down. The smaller sites, with their ability to dig deeper into the internet, act as farm teams for the larger blogs and news media.”
Here are a few articles about content marketing that I discovered over the last week. Each article includes the link, a very short summary of the piece, and any additional comments that I think would be helpful. Continue reading
Writing is Hard
Anne Lamont tells you how to make better writing easier. In her book, Bird by Bird, Lamont provides some guidelines on how the professional author can improve their writing. Guidelines that apply to anyone who wants to write better. Rules that make better writing accessible to us all. Continue reading
One of the relatively easy things you can do to improve your search engine optimization results is to tie your Google+ profile to your blog. This is known as your Google Authorship.
Google likes to know about the people who write content. When Google decides what content to show as a result of a keyword search it will pick the content that is associated with a Google+ account everything else being equal. Continue reading
Every time you do work for a customer and they are satisfied with the results ask for an endorsement. Make this a part of the process of how you do business and make it easy for your customer to help you if they want to. Continue reading
All you need to know.
At its most basic marketing consists of five areas. In this marketing 101 overview we will consider the following aspects of marketing.
- Brand – The key messages, benefits, supporting facts and associated graphic design that tells your company story. This is written once.
- Content – The specific stories that you tell about your company. They always include some or all of the brand elements.
- Creative – Ways you can package your stories.
- Channel – How you distribute your stories.
- Results – How you measure your efforts.
See the full SlideShare presentation at the top of the right hand column of this page. Continue reading
Content marketing has become a very hot topic recently but is a very simple concept and has been around for a long time. Anyone who knows their business can very effectively incorporate content marketing into their communication mix.
This slideshow uses an extended metaphor to demonstrate the basic concepts. In simple terms, content marketing is nothing more than the stories you tell about your company that would be of interest to your readers. This could include: Continue reading
Your improv partner says to you, “I like you better now that you are gay…though I will miss the sex.” How do you respond? In improv you are prepared to hear something from out of left field. But even in our everyday lives we are thrown conversational curves and have to respond. Whether the conversation is casual, important, business-related, silly or life changing the rules of improv will improve your communication skills: people will want to hear what you have to say and you will say it with conviction. Continue reading