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Indianapolis Chapter of the American Marketing Association

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What the Heck is Google Up to?

Written by Laura Neidig

Who knew?

Google tweaks its algorithm every 23 hours. In addition to their much publicized major updates of 2014— Panda, Penguin, Pigeon and whatnot — they constantly finesse what it is they’re doing.

And what is that, precisely?

According to Tim Warren, president of SEO Exposed and the December speaker at the Indy AMA luncheon, Google wants the user’s expectations to match the user’s experience. Ideally, that number one search result you get? It should be exactly what you were looking for.

Warren’s presentation, How to Achieve Top Rankings in Google Search for 2015, highlighted what Google is concentrating on, what they don’t really care about any more, and specific tactics marketers can employ to ensure their product or service lands in that number one search result.

DO’s and DON’Ts

“Google’s aim is to shorten the user’s path,” said Warren. “They are ignoring content that gets in the way, or lessens the experience of the user.” He called their actions ‘dis-intermediating content.” Examples he gave of this are slow-loading pages, pages that are not updated, and pages that are not responsive — that don’t function smoothly on all platforms. “It’s almost 2015 folks. We shouldn’t still be talking about the need to be responsive.”

Warren spoke about how winning at social media is more important than ever.  Surprisingly, he said Facebook does not have the biggest user base; rather more energy should be spent on a company’s Twitter, LinkedIN and Pinterest pages.

He succinctly went down a list of things Google no longer favors: Short keywords, canned and promotional content, link bait. Google is putting more emphasis on “long-tail keywords” (think, “Canon Rebel Series” rather than “camera”). Why? One-word keywords are used for research; long-tail keywords are used to purchase.

Canned content loaded with keywords is falling out of favor, and Google is instead ranking unique and original content high. Is anyone else writing about what you want to write about? He gave us a handy website to find out: http://buzzsumo.com/

And link-building today? These connections between websites that Google uses as part of its algorithm involve creating content that editors want to use, getting your content on the pages of other websites and finding content amplifiers, (people who will help share your content.) Sharing not only means more visibility for your content and subsequently your product or service, but a higher ranking by Google.