The 5 Minute Update on GoogleMay 17th, 2012 by Mack Web Solutions
Since January, Google has been releasing algorithmic updates like it’s going out of style. Things are changing. People are freaking out. We’re here to tell you that you may not have anything to panic about. That is, if you’re doing it right.
What’s up with the web?
Google may seem like a monster who’s out to get you, but at the end of the day, they’re really just trying to get a very simple job done: return quality, relevant search results.
Like any good company, Google is continually working on improvements to their products. It’s like updating your software. That’s what Panda, Venice, and Penguin are all about. Google releases an update (like they’ve been doing all year) to address a recurring problem (like spamming for rankings), change the face of search (Search, plus Your World) or fix some things that were missed in a recent update. All hell breaks loose in our industry, and eventually, if it’s that big of a deal (like it has been this year), it hits the main stream.
Do you have anything to be worried about?
Funny thing about all the Google updates is, if you aren’t doing shady stuff in the first place, what do you have to be worried about? Granted, there are many documented instances of good websites who get sucked innocently into Google’s wrath. But we’re talking big picture here.
A couple weeks ago when Penguin hit we wrote a post about SEO Stuff you Shouldn’t be Doing. Read that, and then put this stuff on your list for everyday. Yup, you read that right. Every day for the rest of your life (ok, except maybe on your birthday).
The deal is, you’re working towards building relationships, so you do have to work at it every day. Here’s how we would do it if we were you:
- Find your online community
We do some research and figure out who lives in our online community. It’s not everyone, people. We’re not going for the whole web here. You want to start small and target some people that you think are great and worth having a relationship with. Start with Twitter and your thought leaders. Find them and follow them. Pick a few of the people they’re following and follow them.Do the same on LinkedIn and Google+. You’ve now developed a small online community that you can keep tabs on, get inspired by, and maybe even contribute to. That’s your next step.
- Get in there
Now you’re in the room, all you gotta do is get involved. Start reading the blogs your thought leaders and other online community people reference. In a short time, you will feel comfortable interacting and engaging, maybe even blogging about this stuff yourself (yup, it’s gotta be done).First things first…comment on blogs and tweets. Be authentic and genuine. Don’t try too hard. It’s like being with a person face to face. Use your manners and don’t be too aggressive. Take your time and things will happen.
- Write some stuff that people want to read and share
If there is one trick to any of this stuff, it’s content generation. Everything you do in your online community starts from the value that you are generating and it has to be worth sharing. Your blog posts need to have more than words in them (we call it universal content) and your writing needs to exhibit your personality.Use images, video, and infographics. And don’t just pick out a stock photo and plop it in there. You’re trying to give people the experience without them actually being there. Look for websites that display what you’re trying to explain and link to them. Embed videos that other people have created and give them credit for them.Make the experience rich and engaging and they’ll not only come back for more, they’ll tell their friends. Before you know it people will be referencing your stuff and pushing your name around. And that’s when the real magic starts to happen.
Ok, so we’re gonna say it again
You’ve heard us say it. You’ll hear the thought leaders in our industry say it.
Wait for it….
You have to do the work.
That’s right, this stuff takes work.
The team here at Mack Web gets so excited when Google cleans house because we are doing what it takes to get there (and helping our clients get there too), but the road is steep and narrow and it often feels like you’re pushing a 50 ton boulder up a hill.
Even we get discouraged, but never fear. There are little rewards along the way. Don’t forget to celebrate your tiny successes. One day, you won’t know what hit ya. You’ll have built so much value in your company and so much trust in your customers that you won’t care if you rank #1 in Google.