Yet again, Google have made a change to their algorithms that will make it harder for companies to manipulate their search results for marketing purposes. Two recent announcements:
- Introduction of the ability for users to block entire domains
- Inclusion of quality factors into their algorithms
Will potentially have some significant effects on SEO, in that it will move further towards the idea of personalised search results thus limiting the use of the “Ranking Report” much favoured by SEO companies to justify their existence, and mean that tactics such as buying links from “Content farms” will become counterproductive. In my opinion, Google should be praised for these moves. Reading this you might get the impression that I discount search engine rankings when considering your marketing mix. In fact this is far from the truth. I believe good, targeted visibility on search engines is vital, especially for your company name and long tail search terms. What I don’t believe in is putting resources into SEO in isolation. Good rankings are delivered by having a well structured site that clearly sets out your proposition, from your customer’s perspective rather than yours. If you do that, your site should include relevant key phrases, and thus will be indexed for these & should appear on search engines. In terms of monitoring search engine performance, I would advocate monitoring Google analytics (Other analytics systems are available), to assess which media, including search engines, are delivering visits to your site and how these visits are contributing to sales. You may find this post “Does Email Marketing Work?” interesting as it is a real case study that looks at the impact of various marketing media (Including search engines) on sales.