By Rex Hammock

For the first few years after college, I worked in public relations. One of my earliest lessons was taught by a client who expected to be mentioned in every newspaper article even remotely connected to his industry.

“But what about last Sunday’s newspaper feature about you on the front page of the business section?” I’d ask. The answer would always be a version of the question, “But what have you done for me lately?” I quickly learned how to use clipping services and press releases to small-town newspapers to supply a steady stream of client-centric news to his inbox.

My career in public relations ended about 30 years ago, but I’ve noticed there still exists among some marketers a confusion between the quantity of mentions vs. the quality of the message.

The confusion mostly surrounds the notion that the goal of internet marketing is Google rankings. Yes, in certain types of marketing, such as that for local retail stores and plaintiff attorneys, Google rankings are everything.

But for business-to-business marketers, the quality and relevance of content and how it fits into the context of a multi-channel strategy are what ultimately raise your web presence.

How do I know? Google told me.

In addition to its famous algorithms, Google contracts with more than 10,000 search “quality raters” worldwide to evaluate the quality of its search results. Raters are tasked with conducting actual Google searches and then asked to rate the quality of pages appearing in the top results.

Google provides its quality raters with a 200-page guide to aid their work. Want to know what these raters look for, but not ready to tackle such a tome? We’ve found Google’s basic search engine optimization guidelines are a better, more attainable route to follow, yielding just as successful results.

Bottomline: Quality of results are Google’s goose that lay the golden egg. Perhaps you can follow every bit of advice in Google’s quality rater’s 200-page guide. However, it’s more effective to focus on its shorter SEO guidelines for creating quality content. Once you do, Google will reward you.

Image: Getty Images

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