As Google makes the rules more complex, website owners, marketers, and SEO professionals need get to work cleaning up their tactics. Everything we have seen in the 2011, 2012, and especially the 2013 updates is still relevant in the Google 2014 Updates. Google is further refining their algorithm in an effort to remove useless results and spammy content from searches. As we see the updated versions of Hummingbird, Panda, Payday, Penguin, and Spam carried out we can expect further micro-adjustments that target both content and link quality.
Google 2014 Updates:
- Hummingbird applies to mobile devices.
- Panda 4.0 redefines your websites authority on the internet.
- Payday 2.0 seeks to eliminate payday loan spammers and related content spam.
- Penguin is just a minor refresh, not an update, to the 2013 link-spammer cleanup.
- Spam 3.0 specifically seeks to target spammy sites and SEO marketers and eliminate them.
Lets look at how the Google 2014 Updates affect content marketing, content type and length, Google business tools, guest blogging, and social media marketing.
Google is in the business of supplying searchers with relevant information. People who supply Google with high-quality knowledgeable information will stay ahead of this marketing game. Regular unique content provides Google with:
- A Targeted Audience.
- Shareable, readable, relevant online engagement.
- Regularly updated information.
- Authority of subject matter.
Online professionals who take their content seriously avoid factory farm or spun content with keyword counts. Online articles with an encyclopedia-like level of knowledge will be at an advantage with Google. Current acceptable content types include Google News, Website content, and Guest articles. However, press releases, article farms, and article databases are taking a major hit. All farmed and spun content should be eliminated from all marketing strategies and the internet. The 2014 updates are further refined to cut out keyword idolizers. Additionally, Google will be seeing those with mobile apps for their content as committed to supporting Google’s efforts in relevant and knowledgeable content.
Content Type and Length
Content length, and its likeability by Google’s search engines, depends greatly on what it is about, how it is being shared, and who is reading it. Length is wholly dependent on the breadth of the context of that content, what its purposes are for, and the patience of its readership. Website owners and content marketers need to strike a firm balance between expertise, value, conciseness, and uniqueness. As with the 2013 updates, content is valued by Google ONLY IF it provides value and service to Google’s readership.
Content is still regarded as desirable when word counts range from 500 to 1,000 words and content is still marketable up to 2,000 words. Though mobile searchers are likely to shy away from moderately engaging content of those lengths. Therefore, concise, in-depth, and highly engaging content is still king. For now, the differences between mobile searches and computer searches is still evolving and future updates may account for differences in mobile search availability.
Google Business Tools
Tying your website in with Google+ and Google Analytics gives you authorship with Google and helps the search algorithms tie all of your content together. Giving and receiving relevant and authentic +1’s on content and posts is a major factor in your websites accountability with Google.
Pay Per Click, and other forms of advertising, have vastly shifted roles among Google’s services. While AdSense is still in service, keyword data for advertisers is restricted and only available for people using Google’s advertising platforms. As Google shifts away from keyword relevancy in searches, so too does access to that data and its viability.
Guest Blogging is Effective
Thankfully, guest blogging remains one of the most effective marketing tools for online professionals. However, it is critical that those who do choose to utilize guest blogging do so with strict standards. Applying the same standards of ethics to guest blogging as your own website content is the only way to avoid any future penalization in search results. It is critical to create high-quality content and place it on websites with high-content standards and strict adherence to Google’s guidelines.
Social Media Marketing
Although Google+ was mentioned before, it is crucial that it remains a strategic part of the social marketing process. Social marketing is the new viral marketing as long as it adheres to Google’s guidelines. There are a minimum of seven main social markets for all online professionals to remain active in, these include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Google+, and LinkedIn. However, there is a plethora of also highly relevant visual content networks which marketers would be wise to keep active in. Keep active in networks which are relevant to your chosen niche and then keep a personal active presence, not auto-posting and ignoring it.
Setting your company up for serious social media engagement includes setting up strong profiles, posting and sharing good content, engaging in reciprocity, and personally engaging your readership. Making our content shareable, likeable, engaging, and active enables growth within social networks. Keeping active daily in social networks that matter to our target audience, chosen industry, and search engines is what will keep search rank high. Google updates will increasingly rely on social networks for cues to how relevant good content is for search results.
Google’s Updates of 2014 and SEO
SEO isn’t dead if it is defined as website Search Engine Optimization instead of manipulating data to unnaturally rank on search engines. The old and painfully wrong definition of SEO is dying as Google’s 2014 Updates further poisoned the algorithm against manipulative black- and gray-hat tactics. Real SEO is better defined as the process of making websites more accessible, understandable, and useful to search engines and web searchers. Real SEO tactics should never be manipulative to search engines, and this is what the core 2014 Google Updates are all about. It is time for online professionals to embrace a cleaner perspective and expert vision of online marketing.