It’s been more than two years since Google released Panda and nearly a year since the debut of the Penguin update. In that time, we’ve seen some massive changes in how search results are tabulated and presented to the general web-browsing public. SERPs have become more intuitive, user-friendly and in some cases unnervingly anticipatory. As the leader in the field of web search, Google sets the tone and the rest of the competition tends to follow. Online marketing has largely revolved around reacting to Mountain View’s policy shifts in recent memory. However, this status quo isn’t as secure as some might believe.
The arms race in search has spurred some interesting developments from Facebook in the form of the upcoming Graph Search. Likewise, Twitter is rolling out some advanced search tools of its own and Microsoft has unveiled its ViralSearch platform to boot. The major trend here is that companies with a lot of users are leveraging Big Data to find nuggets of information gold hidden among the chaos. As the pace of innovation in web search accelerates, we’ll see further disruptions soon enough that fundamentally alter the e-commerce landscape. The moral of the story is that the face of online marketing is drastically changing, so buckle up and prepare for a turbulent ride.
Quality From the Top Down
Probably the least shocking disruption is the all-out war on spamdexing, low-quality sites and cheap SEO tricks. Ever since Google decisively snatched the top search spot in the last decade, they’ve been aggressively tuning their algorithms to deliver relevance and better understand user queries. Spammers have actually helped to advance the development of Google’s garbage filters in a big way. The end result is a better search experience for the end user. Online marketers who refuse to take shortcuts have simultaneously benefited from this increased emphasis on quality.
For large and small brands alike, a focus on delivering quality at every level these days is a matter of life and death. Lame tricks like using exact match domains to drive traffic to squeeze pages isn’t really a viable option any more. The concept of overall, across the board, quality in the SERPs is finally gaining traction. Though not perfect, the preventative barriers of Google and Bing that keep junk from floating to the top are proving their worth in real life.
In order to demonstrate comprehensive value, brands are being forced to adopt a more holistic approach to their content creation and proliferation methods. While there’s never really been any single silver bullet that guaranteed top billing in the SERPs, online marketers are being forced to work harder than ever before. A combination of authoritative inbound links, social signals and current, cutting-edge content is what’s required to dominate the niches that brands are after. Before we get to what works long-term, let’s take a quick look at contemporary marketing and SEO tricks used to temporarily fool Google’s quality safeguards.
Read complete at searchenginejournal.com wrote by Matt Beswick