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Last month, I wrote about how SEO is not just the domain of consultants. Rather, every person in digital media production needs to know how their work affects search effectiveness. If SEO is seen not as a well-kept secret by the few SEO consultants, but as a vital skill for everyone, organizations will be much more effective in producing findable content for the target audience, especially in the age of Google Panda. Thing is, if you rely on Google to discover your content and give it the value it deserves, you will often be disappointed. You also need to build a network of links into your content, which tell Google about the relative importance of the content in the context of other related content. In the age of Google Penguin, this can’t be an artificial process performed by SEO consultants. It needs to be built into the publishing process. This means coordinating your publishing efforts with other internal content strategists, with paid search leads, media relations managers, and especially community managers. Giving these folks the SEO skills they need to help promote your content is just as important as building the content right in the first place.
Last month I talked about optimizing your site architecture for Panda. This is of course important, but it is only one component in optimizing for Panda. As everyone who read Mike Moran’s recent post on this blog knows, Panda rewards quality content. And Penguin punishes low-quality sites. So content quality is obviously very important for search effectiveness, perhaps more important than site architecture. Read the remainder of this entry »
Last time I wrote about cleaning house and freeing up Google’s index for your best content. That’s a great antidote to Panda’s negative ranking factors that punish cluttered websites. But sometimes it’s not that easy to retire pages. In large companies like IBM, there are several brands and business units that offer products or services related to top words such as analytics or cloud. We simply can’t ask these business units to retire fresh content related to business-critical offerings. In these cases, our only option is to help Google crawl and index our content so that the most important content takes its rightful place in Google’s index, and hopefully Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). I’m talking about creating clear information architecture (IA) that shows Google (and your users) the relative importance of pages related to the same keywords.
You’ve probably heard about the various black-and-white animals that Google has named its new search ranking algorithms for. First, in early 2011, it was Panda. Panda used human raters and machine learning to assign a quality rating to every Web site for every search. Penguin is singularly focused on spammers, especially paid links and other link schemes. Not sure what the next algorithm will be named–skunk? I could write this entire article about all the things that have been going on, but I won’t, because I think people are focused on all the wrong things. Read the remainder of this entry »