With more than 70 percent of online searches happening in Google, it is no surprise that content marketers are constantly looking for new ways to use the search engine to realize ROI, be it by getting leads out of organic channels or by other attribution based metrics or means. However, content marketing seems to be losing its luster when it comes to impressing the search engine giant.
Google and Content Marketing Strategies
Every now and then Google releases new updates — Panda, Hummingbird, Penguin — that keep SEO experts and content marketers on their toes. Given the uncertainty of Google's own algorithm, content experts tend to seek the safe haven of Google approved methodologies.
This has happened repeatedly. For example, when guest posts were in vogue, content marketers wrote some great content to get quality links from high authority websites or highly ranked web pages. This was a classic strategy that got content marketers significant SEO wins for regular keywords relevant to their services or products. But then Google changed its guest blogging policy, and is currently shutting down guest blogging networks for being "spammy."
Before guest posts, it was all about back-link strategies. The more back links pointing to a site, the higher rank it got. Much effort went into building as many back links as possible to increase the profile of the main website and drive some quick business. And then Google came in, took a stab on all back linking strategies and introduced its “disavow tool.”
Before that, it was all keywords and metatags and you know the story.
Why Do They Do It?
The strange thing is that every time Google introduces an update, it inevitably comes back to kill it. Why does this happen? Why do Google's algorithms backfire every time?
The answer to this dates back to Google’s inception and mission. Larry Page and Sergey Brin incorporated Google as a privately held company in 1998 "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.” In accord with this mission, Google has repeatedly used best in class algorithms to help people get useful information with a single keyword. Unfortunately, it also opened doors for marketers to sell their products directly and indirectly.
There is nothing wrong with allowing marketers to sell their products or services via organic means via the right keywords, but problems arise when the only results a searcher gets is a marketing pitch for keywords which are only loosely related to a product or service. Not only does it take a dig at Google’s reputation, but it also cuts in on its advertising business, which significantly contributes to its revenue streams.
That is why Google is emphasizing branding strategies as a means to curb content marketing chaos. Content marketers are wary of bringing down their brand image and possible penalties in the form of a dip in search results ranking. By making content marketers focus on brand building, Google intends to give its searchers not only best bang for their searches, but also build its own reputation by bringing quality content forward.
About the Author
Himanshu Sharma handles marketing communications at Trigent. He is a Google certified professional. His specific interest areas are collaboration tools, CRM, web analytics and search engine optimization, digital marketing. He helps clients with content management and collaboration solutions based on SharePoint technology, and is currently involved in implementing social strategies to leverage knowledge workers in his organization.
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