So, you have an extra day today because it is 29th February – a Leap Year. Brilliant. It means you can crack on with some work you wouldn’t otherwise have time for…! But what should you do? How can you maximise the value of these extra 24 hours? The answer comes in a rather detailed blog post from Google about what they have been up to during February. And they have been doing a lot which affects you and your online business. So thank goodness you have this extra day to tackle all that Google wants you to do…!
Although Google has made 40 significant changes to its search algorithm in the past four weeks alone, there are two which stand out. After all, a handful of the changes relate specifically to how results appear in the Korean language….! Important for Korea, but not for those who do not market there. So what is important if you want people elsewhere to see what you have to offer?
If you read the blog from Google carefully you will notice two significant alterations to their latest search algorithm. Both of these changes merely ramp up what the company was clearly emphasising before, but these new changes mean that these two factors now become even more significant.
1. Freshness of content
The change in the Google search algorithm firmly establishes freshness of content as one of the most important factors in how the company determines where you are on the search results. It basically means that if you are not updating your website more frequently than your competitors you could lose out on search results. That means if your search competition updates their website daily, you need to do it, say, 10 times a week. They of course, will respond with 12 times a week, pushing you up to 14 times a week and so on. Essentially the latest Google changes, combined with their recent decision to highlight publication dates more frequently and prominently, means that creating new content as often as you can is THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL aspect of getting yourself noticed online.
2. The value of local
Google knows where searchers are searching from. So even if they do not specify a locality, Google will attempt to deliver local results. This is being further emphasised in the new changes to the algorithm. It means any online business now needs to localise its offering more. If you operate in several different countries or localities you need to localise your web content more. Otherwise, for instance, your Australian customers might not get to see your website as high up in the results if your content is British-focused, for instance.
Essentially, all these Google changes do is make companies do what they always did BEFORE the Internet came along. And that is to provide the most up-to-date information to specific market sectors. In the past who went to visit your customers in Cantebury? Yes, the sales rep from Canterbury. Who helped your clients in Cleethorpes, yes the Cleethorpes sales guy. Service before the web was local. Along came the web and the world went global. Now Google is forcing you to be more local again.
And when you remember back to those local sales rep days….when did the sales rep visit? That’s right when they had something new to tell their customers. And what pressure did the sales reps put head office under? Yes, they the pressure to create new stuff because the competition were getting more appointments as they always had new things to talk about.
Google’s changes are nothing new. All they are doing is making business do what works – provide fresh, new stuff to people nearby. That works.
So, you have an extra day to get that organised – unless of course you are a chap and some woman is going to take advantage of Leap Year traditions and propose marriage to you today.
- 4 Critical Ways Google+ Is Changing Search (hubspot.com)
- How to Destroy Your SEO in a Post-Panda World (hubspot.com)
- How This Month’s Google Search Changes Affect Local Businesses (readwriteweb.com)
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+