Have you ever felt like the pace of change in Google-land is getting faster and faster? Turns out you are right. Check out the Google Algorithm Change History and scan down over the last few years.
So as we approach light-speed of Google ranking changes, it leads me to wonder “Where are we going Captain Larry?” There has to be a destination or at least a path…right?
The Arc of Recent Changes
Aaron Dun wrote a thoughtful article over at Marketing Profs that looked at some of the major changes in Google’s algorithm over the last 12 months and suggested some future action steps. I think there is a clear pattern in the changes over the last few years: Google does not like what it considers to be “unnatural” SEO. This is about more than not rewarding black hat SEO strategies. The Panda and Penguin updates point toward a vision of passive SEO or rich content driven SEO. Google’s reaction to active SEO strategies reminds me of the carnival game ‘Wack-a-mole’ (hint: Google algo engineers are represented by the guy in the green shirt and over-engineering-SEO-strategies are the moles).
New SEO Job Description: Content Strategist
Yes, basic optimization strategies still matter and are encouraged by Google. Beyond that, Google seems to be pointing to a new requirement for companies that want to be well ranked in search to build a content strategy – not simply a web site with inbound links but a web presence with lots of information about that brand residing on multiple sites. As Aaron Dun put it:
“Think about your entire web footprint holistically rather than consider them disconnected silos. Use each social channel to fill in gaps in your content strategy.”
Take Away Message
This is great news for Customer Lobby and our clients as we represent the easiest way to generate fresh, regular, social content for local businesses and then we push that content to multiple places around the web (more to come soon!! stay tuned). Thanks for the help Google! This also represents the Full Employment Act for local search marketing professionals as many local businesses simply do not have the time or interest to build content in multiple channels.
I think that the group who takes it on the chin (apart from the less-than-white-hat SEOs) is the local business owner who is not inclined to manage a multi-channel content strategy. 10 years ago, they could simply write a check to the Yellow Pages. Now, they need reviews, followers, likes, posts, circles, friends, etc. Content manager may be the next local SEO product.