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New rules for Search Engine Marketing in Google

Marketing specialist Dr. Torsten Schwarz writes about Google's new Penguin-algorithm and how to improve a website's Google-ranking.
Torsten Schwarz | 02.07.2012
People searching for product information use Google. Companies looking for new customers on the other hand, are happy about Google, because it leads interested people onto their website. But that is not always the case.

On the 25th of April 2012, the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) concept was victim of an earthquake. That was when Google dramatically changed its search algorithm in order to improve the quality of its search results. Naming it “Penguin”, Google uses its new baby to fish out websites that depend too heavily on SEO, and sets them onto the same level as portals that have irrelevant or poor content. Even websites like Shopzilla, Kelko, and Openpr belong to the losers in the process. Many did not even notice how far down they skidded.

This is only evidence to prove what was noticeable since the beginning of the year: the classic concept and goal of SEO is fading.The times, where building external links was a one-way-ticket to better Google-ranking are over. Instead, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are the real deal, according to studies.

Onpage-optimization – with limits:

A webpage should be structured and built in a way that Google can comfortably read. Flash, tables, and Javascript-Navigation should be avoided. The title of the given information is very important, as well as the keywords mentioned in captions and internal links. Yet, the significance of these factors are sinking, as other factors are much more essential.

Loading time of the page:

If one has to wait for several seconds until a webpage is fully loaded, one gets really cross. Google takes this anger very personally, since it recommended that page for its user, and the user became upset. Consequently, the website will not be put at the top of Google’s search results. Who has a slow server, will not be recommended, if there are similar sites which are faster.

How is the popularity of a recommendation measured?

Each high ranking in Google is coutned as a recommendation of the website. If this recommendation was a good choice or not, can be easily measured: If a user immediately returns to Google after clicking on the webpage and starts searching for other results, this means that the webpage recommended by Google was not satisfactory to the user and did not fulfill his expectations. Ergo, it is of no use to cheat ones way to the top, as long as one offer sosmething the user does not want. This would lead to only one disaster: Google would not like your website anymore.

How can one measure recommendaitons?

Larry Page once invented the “Page-Rank”, which was actually a great idea. The more links lead to a website, the better it must be. In this case, hyperlinks are recommendations. Search engine optimizers directly sat down and started building fake links to lead to their websites. To start eliminating these deceptive links, Google put some breaks into its algorithm and thus, reduced the relevance of these backlinks. Most improtantly, the search engine can now differentiate between a link that is “real” and based on real user-interest, and one that is just there to be there.

Google+: Can recommendations be measured in a more efficient manner?

The social web is a gigantic database of customer feedback and recommendations. And Google uses that, too. There is a correlation between search engine ranking and the amounts of Likes, Tweets, and Shares on Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, Twitter does not want to be bought and Facebook is considered a competitive enemy of Microsoft, and therefore, Google had to build its own thing. Yet, many users do not want a third social network to worry about, and so, Google is forcing its baby with all means onto the market. Briefly, who wants presence in Google, should be active in Google+.

And now?

Don’t get frustrated with Google’s new algorithms. There is an easy trick to be at the top of Google’s search results: Create websites, that are valubale to those who are searching for a cetain term or phrase or word. The user should be thrilled to have found your website and should not want to leave it anymore. This way, he will talk about it with his friends on social networks, and might even write about you on his blog. And this is exactly what Google will notice and value you for. It will give you a headstart compared to the other “boring” websites that your competitors have. This is called Content-Marketing, where you score higher points through content that offers added value. Good luck with applying it.
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About the author: Torsten Schwarz

Digital marketing expert and author of 25+ books, is an online marketing guru in Germany, known for starting one of the world's first web servers.