Never apologise, never explain
The source of this quote is a bit vague, but the intention behind it is to project an aura of strength. Personally, I think it takes more guts to apologise, admit you’re wrong and that you will learn from the experience.
So what am I apologising about? The fact that I have been extremely quiet and not blogged for about 9 months! It’s almost unforgivable.
Sure there have been reasons, not least of which is that I have website work stacking up (check out the Showcase page for examples). But as this blog, and subsequent ones, will make abundantly clear, you have to keep creating fresh, original content if you want your website to generate traffic and great leads for your business.
So I’m sorry, I’ll do my best to make sure it won’t happen again. Its really in my interest to do so!
Why is blogging so important?
This is really the tip of a rather large iceberg, which is why I’m in the middle of planning a series of blogs to go through it. The short answer, though, is….
Google is reducing the impact of keywords and links in determining search rankings, and is giving increasing credence to to the authority and expertise of the content author
That is a seismic change in search, and its one that, if you are at the forefront, you can use to build a sustainable business.
As for blogging, that is still the best way of adding fresh content to your website (or other places as we’ll see), only now you’re doing it to build your online reputation.
Surely this is just another Panda or Penguin-type update?
Actually no. Panda and Penguin were updates designed to weed out site that use borderline black-hat SEO techniques. The new emphasis on author reputation, often referred to as Semantic Search, is more fundamental.
In part it relies on the profile of the person making the search, boosting relevant content from people they know. This is why Google+ is such an important part of the Google ecosystem now, as that is how Google finds out more about you, and who you interact with regularly. It is also the way that you link all the content you create on the web back to a central identity. Instead of having one profile on your blog, another when your guest-blog elsewhere, a third, fourth and fifth on social networks, and so on; now you link to them all from your Google+ profile and the content authorship is traced back there.
The impact on business
This promises to have a really beneficial impact on those businesses who are in it for the long run. In the early days of Google search it was possible to leap-frog your way to the top of search rankings if you had a little understanding of how the system worked. Choosing the right keywords, gaining lots of links, etc, etc. Genuine businesses, bricks-and-mortar shops struggling with the new paradigm, weren’t knowledgeable and agile enough to cope with the online competitors.
As search evolved, the same techniques carried on working, but required more and more investment (in time as well as money) as Google’s algorithms improved. But the core fault was never addressed, until now. Google have now laid the building blocks that will, in time, give genuine expertise precedence over SEO techniques. The true winners will be those who create websites that…
- are user-friendly and easy to navigate
- have content that is relevant to the business
- add great new content on a regular basis
- attribute all that content to one or more subject-area experts
Keyword-stuffed websites with lots of purchased links have been having it tough for a little while. Soon they’ll be history!
How can we help?
At the top of the article I mentioned that I’d been too busy building customer websites to blog. Another reason for my silence has been the absolute need to get my head around this new vista, and how I can then deliver that knowledge to my customers. I have been on Google+ reading and engaging with others, as well as reading the excellent book on Semantic Search by David Amerland. Now I’m in a position to deliver that knowledge. In a series of blog posts I will…
- explain semantic search in more detail, and how it can benefit your business
- give great reasons why a WordPress-based website is ideal
- show you how to set up and effectively use your all-important Google+ profile
- suggest some great ways to use your new setup to build appropriate traffic to your site
- show how you can measure the impact of all this work, and use that as a feedback loop
- and much, much more
All you need to do is come back and read the blog. There’s no charge. There’s no sign-up (although the newsletter will be delivered straight to your inbox if you do). Just great content offered to anyone who is interested (hint: you need to be thinking this way too!). All along the focus will be on helping you to build a sustainable business that will thrive in the new world of semantic search.
Image courtesy of DoodleDeMoon