Google Shuffles Deck on Natural Search Algorithm; Retailers Should be Beneficiaries
Second, there are a few things retailers should do to ensure that they don't have risk associated with leveraging unsanctioned SEO practices either directly or through their agencies. Know that these frowned-upon techniques don't happen by accident. They're the result of conscientious activity on the part of the retailer or its agency. It won't be a mystery to figure out if this is taking place.
Have a meeting with your SEO team to go over these tactics. Is there link buying taking place or not? If so, what are the plans to eliminate this practice as soon as possible? Are there any content farms being used to drive organic ranking? If so, how can you eliminate this practice from your SEO strategy?
Third, it's back to basics. Google, Bing and every other search engine have the same goal: to provide quality content. Google is leveling the playing field for those that follow best practices. It wants the percentage of successful search queries to be as high as possible. Note that both techniques being penalized intend to drive better links to an advertiser's site. It's acknowledged that link strategy is the key driver in improved ranking. How can scalable, successful link building be done properly? It's cliché to say, but it requires building quality content and syndicating it — easier said than done. Though this is an abbreviated list, here are four tips to help make this goal a reality:
- Optimize press releases. Widely distributed, this content can be picked up by reputable sites.
- Integrate links with product providers in the retail space. Brand advertisers tend to have highly regarded sites; build out key connectivity to product suppliers.
- Integrate user-generated content (e.g., ratings and reviews) into landing pages. Search engines are using UGC to re-index content, which improves the “freshness” factor on a site and drives improved ranking.
- Create content that includes infographics, videos, games, web-based tools, unique contests, breaking news, top 10 lists, how-tos, alternative viewpoints, shortcuts, etc.
Google's algorithm change is a welcome opportunity for retailers practicing classic and successful SEO tactics that drive results. Providing useful content and ensuring it can be found, then syndicating it as effectively as possible via social media and link-building (not buying) practices develops sustainable SEO assets that deliver over time and keep retailers from unwarranted risk.
Craig Macdonald is chief marketing officer and senior vice president for products at search marketing solutions provider Covario. Craig can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.