When Google introduced the Panda and Penguin updates, marketers thought we could stop writing for search engines and start writing for people. We’re still writing for search engines, but the good news is search engines are learning to read a whole lot better. To a large extent, this is owed to a form of artificial intelligence known as contextual learning which is all about spotting patterns.
World Internet Typology: ATT LabsPanda was designed to let the crème rise to the top. Sites with high bounce rates indicated irrelevant content or a poor user experience and were downgraded accordingly. Penguin is aimed at the over optimizers. Keyword stuffing, duplicate content and fake links are now big no-nos. The moral of this story is that post Panda and Penguin, there are no silver bullets.
Despite the staggering information deluge, the marketing mantra of the day is – content is king. It’s not a bad practice to question the wisdom du jour. Remember Eric Schmidt’s quote…we create as much information now in two days as we did from the dawn of humanity through 2003. And that was pre-Panda, before SEO was bumped from the marketing throne. Collectively, we publish more than 1,500 blog posts every 60 seconds.
Viewed in context, content that receives a lot of social shares from highly trafficked sites rises to the top, and so the feedback loop continues.
Marketing to People and Algorithms
A website’s incoming links are still relevant, but of course not all links are created equal. This makes public relations a highly relevant topic. Every domain is ranked by authority from 1 through 100. For instance, Fast Company has a domain authority of 93. Forbes is 97. The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal weigh in at 99 and 98 respectively. Just one link from a high-authority site can have a seismic impact on a website’s search engine rank.
Bottom line: When you’re allocating resources for SEO, inbound marketing programs, and pithy content writers, be aware in Google’s Wild Kingdom, if content is king, PR is queen.