If you don’t know – a Google Dance is where Google change their ranking algo (the software that controls what websites rank where) because for whatever reason Google feel the need to fix one issue or another. The msot recent fix has been to combat a plague of article sites ranking across the Internet that allegedly provide useful content, but in fact are no more than ‘thin content’ with large amounts of advertising.
Ironically much of this ‘content pollution’ has been perpetuated by Google themselves. They have a programme called AdSense. You may have seen the AdSense adverts in body copy in various websites. These AdSense ads contextualise to the content they are embedded in. Users are reasonably ok with the ads since often they are – sort of – relevant. So the ads get clicked, giving the site owner revenue.
The content has the appearance of usefulness and with link building, you can get them to rank nicely. Good rankings on decent traffic terms gives enough visitors to probably generate reasonable revenue through AdSense.
But its all got a little out of hand and there has been a clear out of the rankings recently. This update has been called the Farmer/Panda Update.
Below is a history of the major updates so far that have rocked the SEO world.
(Click on the image for a full size readable view.)
The programme was:
- Strategy for social, covering all the three states of user of commercial intent – background knowledge, specific questions, decision to buy
- Prerequisites to get on the starting line – corporate culture, brand love, popularity of the subject, site architecture
- Targeting resource for maximum ROI
- KPI’s that actually mean something
- Putting it together as a actionable plan
Instead of getting bogged down in the area of social signals in SEO, I decided to take a different approach to the question of search in a social world and essentially I put out the idea
“social = validation, search = navigation”
I then dug into the idea that users (often) use social exchange points like forums to get information and resolution about things they want to buy. Of course to find these hot spots, they have to use search engines.
So its great to work your Facebook, but so often the real value is helping those important conversations where people evaluate your product and cast a vote. If they are good, then promote them! Social proof/validation is about the most powerful endorsement you can have online.
I had to work form home recently and managed to set up the new Skype video conference calling feature so it would work for a 3 way call. Annoyingly it wouldn’t allow us to also do screen share, so we then used webex for that. So there was:
Me: In London
Guy 1: North Sweden
Guy 2: North England.