Although the world’s most popular search engine is notoriously tight when it comes to giving out information on their closely guarded search algorithm, Google’s Spam Chief Matt Cutts recently made news when he suggested that the next update to Google would be one that would penalize “overly-optimized” websites. In other words, if you have taken your search engine optimization too far, then those efforts could actually start to work against you in the near future.
For business owners and executives who rely on search engine optimization and online marketing, this might seem like bad news. However, it shouldn’t be all that depressing, or even surprising, when you think about it. Humans don’t like finding websites with endless keyword repetition and other low-end SEO tactics, so the better Google can get at filtering them out, the more useful it will be.
When you think about things in that way, this change could actually be a good one for a lot of companies. Here are three tips to keep you in the good graces of Google, as well as your customers:
1. Think “moderation.” Although there’s no way to be sure, the suspicion is that web designers and business owners who have endlessly stuffed tags, keywords, and inbound links into their websites in a mechanical way are the ones who will be most affected. The answer is to think and act like an actual person, and exercise a bit of restraint when adding new content to your site. Use keywords in moderation, and you shouldn’t have a hard time being found on the major search engines.
2. Be careful who you work with. As search engine optimization continues to grow, there seems to be a lot of “guilt by association” with the wrong kinds of web designers, linking partners, and SEO teams. Don’t tie your website to companies (or other websites) who don’t have a good reputation, and only work with an online marketing partner that is willing to take the long view and do what’s best for your company, and your customers, over time.
3. Put your customers first. This should be the golden rule of online marketing, and especially search engine optimization. Think like your best customer, and imagine what kinds of content you would want to find on your website. If what you have doesn’t seem like something that would read naturally to them, then know that you’ve gone too far and make the appropriate changes.
Do you want help improving your search engine optimization and online marketing plans? Mention this blog post and we’ll set up a free consultation for you today.