September 14, 2013
Organic beef, organic tomatoes and organic yogurt – it was only a matter of time that the trend hit the internet; and it has, in the form of a search engine ranking term nicknamed “Organic SEO.” Without going into the entire SEO concept - suffice to say that traffic is important to any owner of a website that wants to attract users – the brief background is that in 2011, Google ran an algorithm update, known as the Panda update. It may sound cute and cuddly, but the Panda update was the first major algorithm update to focus on the quality of onsite content -- pushing sites with rich content and a great user experience to the top of its search rankings, and relegating low-quality sites to the bottom.
Effectively, this was a warning shot that the days when all of the nonsense associated with getting your website’s rankings artificially boosted worked, were numbered. Google was tired of its search engine returning non-quality sites when customers were searching popular key words; or more importantly saw that they were losing revenue from disenchanted advertisers.
The next step in this efficiency trend was released in late 2012 – and nicknamed “Penguin.” This update was targeting ‘off-site’ techniques – in particular, Black Hat voodoo like high volume, low quality page linkages. The future of page rankings for webmasters, marketers and Communications Directors was clear: write good content and promote a natural, useful community. Google was slowly pushing websites to follow the same off line rules that thought leaders have had to adhere to for years: publish or perish. Apologies in advance, but wait for it: “content is king” rules again.
This takes a bit of work – yes, blogging is time consuming, as is posting relevant articles, videos and monitoring user feedback. But, by adopting a longer term strategy revolving around unique, high-quality content and utilizing social platforms to drive engagement and exposure, you will be creating a long lasting, natural way to have people find you consistently, i.e., Organic SEO. Creativity should be at the heart of your page ranking strategies moving forward, and if it isn't you may well be left out in the cold... like a Penguin.