May 28, 2013

How’s your brand visibility? SEO and Google, post-Penguin.

How’s your brand visibility on Google?

Did it recently change? Just the other day, Google implemented their newest rule changes, codenamed Penguin, and the brand visibility of some sites plummeted. (That bass drum you hear is the Salvation Army, sinking). Some sites moved up. Our site, BTW, continues to do fine on searches.Penguin

The people who watch this closely are offering up analysis and strategic advice, lots of it speculative, since Google is famously, understandably, opaque about its alchemy. Here’s a fairly clear article from Website Magazine to chew on, but we’ll give you a common-sense version of what we think you should do going forward:

#1. Google’s evolving rules keep getting better. They want to improve the search experience for people, to continue their dominance of the category.

#2. There’s no evil empire. The rules change to facilitate #1, above. You don’t have to be afraid of the next Penguin or Panda if you’re authentic.

#3. Over time, results pages will be more and more relevant to the searcher.

#4. Your brand visibility on line depends on Google. (Duh.) So predicting Google’s future methodology should inform your digital strategy.

#5. Therefore … keep your focus on content. Original content. Original content that’s useful to the people searching for what you offer. If you have expertise, or powerful solutions, or meaningful approaches to problems, prove it. Over time, the mere directory sites will fade away, the cut-and-paste assemblers of content will be downgraded, the black-hat tricksters and link farms will be exposed, and sites with genuine lookie-what-I-found substance will rise to the top.

Brand visibility is your first duty in marketing, even before differentiation. (Hey, if a differentiated tree falls in the forest, but nobody sees it, what possible difference does it make what that differentiator is? You can be the low-cost provider, or the most responsive, or have intergalactic customer service – and say so, but until your key prospects actually hear it, it’s futile.)

Wallowing on page five of Google in your category? Page 5 is the same as page 312, my friend. We’re here to help.