The more you integrate your content strategy with other disciplines within digital strategy -- SEO, social media, usability and information architecture -- the more successful it will be.

Google Panda has forever changed the SEO landscape in terms of how we think of building value for our content. Link building was the gold standard, but now it is clear that social sharing of content is the new gold standard for Google and every other major search engine. For more on what makes content valuable, see The Creating Valuable Content Checklist.

Google Panda is the series of updates Google made to their algorithm this summer. These changes impact search results for almost every website -- pages that used to be number one are now showing up 50 or 60. On the other hand, those that spent time building quality, best practices content saw their content soar to the top of the search results page. While SEO consultants analyzed the changes, content strategists went back to their strategies to ensure they would hold up to this new onslaught. What can you do to ensure your content strategy captures how critical social media is to your pages showing up on that coveted first page of page results?

Rule #1: Stop Acting Like These Dinosaurs


Social media is no longer a calm lake you can dip your toe into to ascertain if it is valuable for your organization. Do you have content online? Then you need to JUMP into the social media world and kick it up a few million notches. If you want your pages to show up high on search results, you must prove to the search engines that the consumers of your content find it valuable enough to share. That means you should invite users to share, post a sharing widget prominently and make sure you are sharing others’ content as well.

Rule #2: Analyze Content That Engaged Your Audience

I’m not advocating for jumping without looking, however. Carefully look at your content strategy and focus on the engagement piece. Find ways to increase shareability. Analyze other pieces of content that users have shared from your site. What gets them excited? What makes them angry?

Remember, content has four purposes: education, inspiration, aspiration and initiation. Make sure you’re identifying what types of content you’re creating and how best to capture your audience’s share button.

Rule #3: Test, Test, Test

Identify one area where you can test shareability and your search results. With Google’s real-time analytics now available from their Analytics suite, there is no reason not to watch how your content performs in real time. As you gather your analytics and see how sharing affects your search results, you will be able to refine your technique and your overall strategy. Remember to revisit your content strategy with lessons learned.

Have you found yourself revisiting your content strategy after Google Panda?

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