Idea: You’ll never outsmart Google, so stop trying.
On April Fools’ Day 2002, Google ran a very funny spoof blog post about how the company’s search results were based on its patented PigeonRank method that utilized birds to find the best websites. Last week, Google rolled out another search algorithm named after birds, Penguin 2.0. This time, it’s no joke.
In the decade since that famous PigeonRank parody, billions of dollars have been spent by marketers who continuously try to beat Google’s algorithms. The stakes are high: Online sales revenue can hinge on the ups and downs of where a marketer’s website shows up in Google’s results.
Rather than invest in great websites that will help their customers, many marketers have chosen to invest in trying to outsmart Google. They believed the self-declared experts who sold them bland copy filled with keywords and dubious back-linking plans designed to influence Google.
And for a time, such methods worked.
Search, however, is Google’s goose that lays golden eggs. It should be obvious that the company won’t stand by while so-called gurus invent methods designed solely to influence search results. Whenever a new “black-hat” search engine optimization (SEO) practice appears, Google’s army of engineers will respond.
Penguin 2.0 is the latest version of Google’s famed search algorithm designed to crush those who attempt to outsmart Google’s search methods with unfriendly or “black hat” methods. In reality, this is good news for marketers and customers (unless you are in the type of SEO business Google is fighting). Sites that are helpful to customers are rewarded, while those that have depended on last month’s magic methods of influencing search results are having to start all over.
Great customer media and content that is designed to help, not merely to be jammed full of keywords, will win out in the post-Penguin 2.0 era.
Search marketing done right is rewarded. Google provides a wide array of resources to explain the best ways to help it find your site and products. And sites like SearchEngineLand.com provide independent coverage and white-hat advice for marketers.
But no matter what the smart people at Google do, the smartest thing you can do, always, is this: Sell great products and services and turn your website into the most helpful resource your customers can find on the web.
BONUS: To discover 5 ways to keep your website
Google-friendly after Penguin 2.0, visit Hammock.com.
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