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Quality web content set to soar on Google

Monday, 28. February 2011 12:53

Websites need quality content – and a clear content strategy – more than ever, after Google announced a change to its algorithm that will benefit original, quality content over hack SEO-driven copy.

Better rankings for better content
Tired of getting low-quality search engine results from sites like eHow? Well, so is Google. Big-wigs at the search giant Amit Singhal and principal engineer Matt Cutts announced a few days ago a “pretty big” improvement to results, based on providing “better rankings for high-quality sites – sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”

In Google’s sights are “content farms” run by organisations such as Demand Media (eHow, Livestrong, Cracked and more). Demand Media pay freelancers (poorly) to create content on long-tail search engine terms. They have one goal in mind, and it’s not to educate or inform web users.

Gaming the SERPs
While not every eHow article is useless, quality is certainly secondary to keyword optimisation. Content farms are all about ranking highly in search engine results pages (SERP). But because of the sheer weight of numbers and a clever approach to SEO and SEM, eHow is all over your Google results.

Only a few days before the most recent announcement, Google released an extension for its Chrome browser that allows users to blacklist sites they don’t want in their results. While it might be fun to block your competitors and see yourself soar, it seemed like another example of Google admitting that it was failing to keep up with SEO spammers (read my previous post about how SEO tricks Google). Why not fix search instead of making users hack results?

The right direction
The latest announcement is a far more positive step for Google. Users need search engines to deliver the best and most appropriate results. Google’s job is to deliver the best algorithm, and any result page that prioritises quality, original content over $5 articles paid for by word count is OK with me.

So get your content on
Now there are two great reasons for businesses to boost their content stocks with professionally-written, high-quality, useful content:

  1. There’s a gap emerging in the market, as eHow slips down the ladder
  2. Google are on the lookout for the best original content out there.

Take advantage. Hire a web copywriter today.

Thema: Being good, SEO, Trends, User focus | Comments Off | Author:

Rough stop cock brass male – an experiment

Friday, 9. October 2009 9:28

It’s time. In an earlier post, we learned that newspaper websites, bloggers and more were chasing traffic by using ambiguous, vaguely sexual terms in their headings.

After some spirited comments, I decided to try it too, but for purely scientific reasons.

The headline here was suggested in comments by John Ford, an architectural lighting designer who knows a thing or two about puns.

He wrote:

I bought a tap at the hardware store a while ago which had written on the tag: “Rough Stop Cock Brass Male”, which roughly translates to a brass stopcock with a rough surface and a male thread. It makes me think of gay porn, not plumbing hardware… Not a headline though…

Oh, I beg to differ, Mr Ford. I think it’s a grand headline.

By the way, a search on Google for this series of words delivers 16 legitimate plumbing results before a porn return. The adwords spots, though, are pure smut (although some of the ladies out there might want to see just how hunky those hunks are…).

So check back at the comments here occasionally, and I’ll post updates on how traffic stats are going.

Thema: Being bad, SEO | Kommentare (3) | Author:

Google, SEO and getting it wrong

Friday, 25. September 2009 10:47

A couple of days ago I was in a meeting with a small group of enthusiastic entrepreneurs, discussing a new online retail venture. Being a startup, discussion quickly turned to SEO – search engine optimisation – and the techniques writers, programmers and SEO professionals use to get pages to rank higher in search engine results.

It’s a vital consideration, but it made me think…

Google (and let’s use ‘Google’ as a placeholder for ‘all search engines’) want to get it right. Google’s business success is founded on the quality of its search results. Its algorithm is a modern miracle, combining words on pages, page rank (essentially a site’s reputation), inbound and outbound links and a host of other considerations to rank results for any search term you care to think of.

Search results keep changing as Google tweak the results method; it’s an ongoing social experiment aimed at delivering the exact page you want.

So Google try to get it right, based on real websites and real user behaviour.

Yet clever SEO techniques distort websites and search results, trying to provide what they think Google wants to see. Dogs chasing tails or the other way around? Either way, users and usability lose out to copy written for machines, ‘link juice’, and distortions that give better results to whoever spends the most on optimisation.

Don’t get me wrong. I write SEO content almost every day. SEO is vital for business success. You’d be crazy if you didn’t take it into account on your site…

But it’s vital only because Google isn’t perfect. It doesn’t give you the right page, first up, every time. It needs our help.

And while we continue to subvert it to gain its love, it always will.

Thema: Being bad, SEO, Trends | Kommentare (2) | Author:

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