Increasing Website Traffic with Search Engine Optimization

Online publishing faces new challenges with the latest major Google update

If you’re older than 50 and can actually remember adult life before the personal computer, you may still be filled with a sense of awe and wonder about our new, “always on, always connected” digital world. I know I am.

And although I relentlessly research and report on the very latest technology and techniques that affect online publishing, content marketing and search engine optimization, I’m still as wide-eyed as a kid at a magic show.

For instance, have you ever wondered, as I have, whether Google could possibly be any faster? It wasn’t so long ago when we would do our keyword research, engage our best editorial management strategy, employ our finest SEO copywriting skills, and post a page of website content. Then we would sit back, and within a few weeks, that page would eventually and inevitably show up in the Google search engine results.

That it took only a few weeks for the Google bots to find, read and index the page seemed extraordinarily fast. Now that time has been trimmed from a few weeks to few hours, and in many instances, just a very few minutes.

Facebook and Twitter, the two best-known social media venues, and two of the most rapidly changing websites, have prompted Google to roll out a major new search architecture.

Designed to deliver faster, more comprehensive and more accurate results, “Google Caffeine” was announced in June 2009 and hailed as the next-generation architecture for Google’s web search. A year later, the new Google — the “Caffeine” code name has been discontinued — is out of beta testing and in general use.

Google now analyzes the web in small portions and updates its search index on a continuous basis, globally. It returns 50 percent fresher results owning to continuous updating of the Google index.

That means you could upload a new page to your website and Google may have it indexed and return it from a keyword search in less than an hour, and in many instance, in only a few minutes.

Google’s new search engine isn’t just about speed. Ranking principles have changed. Your website may have been displaced and your organic traffic may have diminished.

Search engine optimization has always been a tumultuous undertaking, with frequent, never-ending shifts and reversals. Caffeine was a large-scale overhaul, but on average, Google makes more than 500 minor tweaks to its search engine algorithm annually.

In addition to being lightning fast, experts believe the new Google search algorithm has been reconfigured to give heavier weight to keywords and a domain’s age. Additionally, Google search now places more reliance on keyword strings (multi-word phrases) rather than exact phrases, and gives more gravitas to social media websites and blogs.

What does all this mean to Mequoda website operators?

First, it is important to remember that quality content and incoming links are still held in highest value by the masters of the Google algorithm. So, creating content of such high quality that other websites want to link to your site continues to be a fundamentally viable search engine optimization and Internet marketing strategy.

Second, smart Mequoda online publishing system operators will update their keyword research frequently and revise their Google Visibility Reports regularly in order to assure their sites are being found with the terminology used most frequently by their constituency.

Third, many online publishing teams will want to post more frequently and increase their email marketing and email newsletter frequency. Shorter “rifle shots” that target only one or two keyword phrases and clusters may be required. Revisions to your editorial management strategy may include publishing more frequently new, revised and shorter free reports and redoubling your public relations and link-building efforts.

Of course, Mequoda will continue to monitor the affect of the new Google on our own websites and on our Gold Members’ websites. When possible, without violating the confidentiality of our consulting clients, we will report our findings in Mequoda Daily.

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The Internet is the greatest medium for marketing and online publishing that has ever been created. But the publishers who haven’t bothered to learn these cutting-edge strategies and proven techniques could face extinction. Discover how to thrive and prosper in the new publishing environment at the Mequoda Summit Boston 2010.

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