Hotel SEO Florida

Hotel SEO Florida | “How To Use Online Marketing To Promote Offline Businesses”

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Source : Biz Journals
By : Peter Roesler
Category : Hotel SEO FloridaHotel Web Design

Use Online Marketing
Use Online Marketing

For some businesses, using the internet to promote and market their services makes perfect sense. Any business that serves a large geographic area can use internet marketing to reach large areas for a lower budget than traditional media channels. E-commerce retailers can only sell to people when they’re online, so online advertising is sort of a no-brainer. But there are many small businesses that only sell locally and don’t have any e-commerce components. Even if it’s not readily obvious, internet marketing has just as much to offer these offline small businesses as it does to internet giants. The greatest advantage of internet marketing is that it provides small business owners with a low-cost and effective way to get their name out to the public. Establishing a business and gaining initial customers is often the biggest challenge for small business owners.

Relying on old small business tactics like placing flyers on cars or employing people to hand out coupons or twirl signs can work; but these methods aren’t cost efficient, have limited range, and for what it’s worth environmentally unfriendly (think of how many flyers go directly in the trash). Internet marketing tactics can be used to accomplish the same outcome but with better results. For example, instead of flyers, using that budget to promote the content that was advertised in the flyer would have a greater reach, more targeted so that the right people get the message, and dollar for dollar, far more cost effective. For small business owners trying to get the word out about a new business, $50 spent on social media marketing (promoted posts, advertisements, contests) would be far more effective than $50 spent on flyers. So without a penny being made directly from the internet itself, a brick and mortar store could see a large bump in their sales from online marketing. Another thing that small business owners need to consider is how the internet has changed the way that people search for information, including business information. Long gone are the days that people turned to the phone book when looking for a plumber or mechanic.

Not only is the same information usually easier to find online, there’s usually better information than what can be obtained through printed phone books. To illustrate, a Google search of “auto mechanic” plus a zip code would give the searcher a list of mechanics, their contact information, ratings, maps, websites, etc. According to a study quoted by a group that is opposed to the continued production of print phone books (for financial and environmental reasons), 70 percent of consumers never touch the print version and that 60 percent of people look up contact information online. Even when taken with a grain of salt given bias of the source, the point remains clear that small businesses that are relying on the people to find their business by searching in the phone book are missing out on many, if not the majority, of people who would be searching for their services.

So again, even without selling anything online, online marketing affects the bottom line. Small business owners should at least have a presence on Google. This means that they will have a Google+ profile, a Google Maps listing, and a Google+ Business Page if they choose set one up. And there’s no cost to setup this up with Google which makes it far more affordable than any package offered by a telephone directory for decent exposure in a print phonebook. In fact, this seems to be trend, 70 percent of businesses have some presence on Google+. All small businesses should also have a website. In this day and age, a website is as important to a brand’s image as its name and logo. A website is a business property online and the shape of this virtual property matters just as much as the facade of the physical business. Consumers make judgements about a company based on their website or lack there of. A website that looks amateurish, is error-ridden, contains out-of-date information, or doesn’t function properly hurts the professionalism of a business. Worse still, a business without a website hardly seems legitimate in the 21st Century, it’s would almost seem to some that they had something to hide.

However, unlike social media and Google+, which can be handled relatively easily with just some time and effort, proper web design isn’t something that small business owners should do without proper help. For a small business trying to establish itself and its credibility, it is not the time to learn web design through trial and error. The comparison of a business’s virtual property to their physical property is appropriate. Business owners wouldn’t try to build their own store by hand unless they had experience building stores before. Business owners should use the same logic when deciding on who should build their website. Cookie cutter approaches to website content aren’t helpful. According to one report, 61 percent of consumers say they feel better about, and are more likely to buy from, a company that delivers custom content. For the modern business, there are tremendous benefits to marketing online even if the business itself is not. Social media, Google services, and websites are essential parts of any comprehensive marketing plan for small businesses. Not only are the tools effective, but they provide better results for the money spent.

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Hotel Web Design | “Travelers’ Choice: World’s Top Hotels”

Posted on Updated on

Source   : CNN Edition
By         : Marnie Hunter
Category : Hotel SEO FloridaHotel Web Design

Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina-Switzerland- No 1
Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina-Switzerland- No 1 Hotel

The sea of online travel reviews is daunting. So many, many choices, so many (wildly divergent) opinions. Review giant  TripAdvisor has weeded through millions of traveler reviews to identify its users’ favorite hotels. On Wednesday, the site announced its 2014 Travelers’ Choice Awards. More than 7,000 properties received awards, which were divided into categories including top hotels, bargains, B&Bs and inns, family, luxury, romance and small hotels. The country with the most award winners? Italy, with 152 hotels. TripAdvisor uses an algorithm that measures the quality and quantity of the ratings from traveler reviews and opinions to identify the Travelers’ Choice properties. Check out the gallery above for the top 10 winners worldwide in the “Top Hotels” category. The average nightly rate among the category’s award-winners is $366.

Here are the top 10 hotels in the United States:

1. The Grand Del Mar, San Diego
2. French Quarter Inn, Charleston, South Carolina
3. Bardessono, Yountville, California
4. Allison Inn & Spa, Newberg, Oregon
5. Five Pine Lodge & Spa, Sisters, Oregon
6. 21c Museum Hotel Bentonville, Bentonville, Arkansas
7. Tivoli Lodge, Vail, Colorado
8. The Sherry-Netherland Hotel, New York City
9. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
10. The Oxford Hotel, Bend, Oregon
Among the highest rated Travelers’ Choice hotels in other categories for 2014:

  • World’s top luxury hotel — Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guesthouse, Franschhoek, South Africa
  • World’s best bargain hotel — Castlewood House, Dingle, Ireland
  • World’s best family hotel — Cavallino Bianco Family Spa Grand Hotel, Ortisei, Italy
  • World’s most romantic hotel — The Place Luxury Boutique Villas, Koh Tao, Thailand

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Hotel SEO Florida | “Free SEO Checklist for your Hotel Website”

Posted on Updated on

Source : Spring Nest
By : Niel
Category : Hotel SEO FloridaHotel Web Design

Hotel SEO Florida
Hotel SEO Florida

How often do you get emails from companies promising to get your hotel website ranked first on Google searches? These emails come out of the blue and share very little or no information about how exactly your site will get to the top. Google strongly advises against making use of SEO services and make it clear that the claims made in these emails are false:

No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.” – Google

SEO services are not only expensive and often ineffective – they have also caused many small businesses a lot of trouble by bringing about the exact opposite of what they promise…lower long-term search rankings. A far better approach is to follow Google’s guidelines on what you could do on your own site to show that your hotel website is worth visiting. You or your web designer can make a big difference to your search engine performance without using SEO companies, and do so without breaking the bank. In this post we’ll share two practical ways to improve your hotel website’s search engine optimisation by following best practices: Optimize page titles and create shareable content. We included a short checklist that you can use to get your website up to scratch.

1. Make sure your page titles are unique, short and relevant

What is a “Page Title” and how do I change it? – A page title or title tag is a short phrase that serves as the official name of any page on the internet. It is not clearly visible on a page, but defined in the HTML of your pages. Note that it often differs from the heading of your page. At this point you might be thinking: “HTML-what?! How am I supposed to see, let alone change, HTML?” The simple answer is: you don’t have to! Most content management systems (the software used to build your website) make it easy to edit page titles. If you edit your own website, you should be able to find a section in any page’s settings to change the page title. The setting is often found under a “SEO Settings” section and labeled as “Meta title”, “Title tag” or “Page title”. If you can’t find the SEO section or your CMS does not allow custom page titles, a quick email to your web designer should be enough to get your page titles updated.

Why page titles are so important for SEO

Search engines, such as Google, use the page title tag to identify what a page is about. Search engine users often see the page title in search results, where the title serves as a link to your page:  Choose unique, descriptive page titles -Google’s webmaster guidelines make it clear that every page on your website should have a unique title, different from all the other pages on your site. Search engines and users need to have a quick way to distinguish pages.

Page title examples

Let’s imagine a boutique hotel, Beach Manor in Knysna, with two different room types: Double rooms and Suites. The hotel has a unique page for each room type, describing the rooms, amenities and rates independently. If the page title for both room types were simply “Accommodation” or “Rooms”, search engines and users who find your hotel in search results will have a hard time knowing what the page is about before actually reading the content. In the example above, good page titles for the two different room types would be: “Affordable Double Room Accommodation, Beach Manor Hotel, Knysna” and “Luxurious Suites, Beach Manor Hotel, Knysna”. These titles give the user a short, unique insight into what the pages are about, while showing the products in a flattering light, using keywords travelers might use to search for accommodation. Note the differentiation of product features in the titles.

Page titles should be shorter than 70 characters

Google does not display more than about 70 characters of a page title in search results. Make sure to get the most important and descriptive words in the first 70 letters, or your users will never see what you think is important.

Relevant page titles

Simply choosing keyword-rich page titles to try and fool search engines will not help your search ranking. In fact, if Google thinks you are using page titles to cram in as many keywords as you can without offering value to users, they might penalize you with lower search rankings.Make sure the page titles you choose contain only a few important keywords, focusing on the main content of that particular page.

  • What you can do right now:
  • Make sure page titles are unique for every page, throughout your website.
  • Check that page titles describe the page’s content in an enticing manner, so that users will want to click on search results.
  • Keep your page titles short (under 70 characters), or at least get the important parts in the very beginning.
  • Don’t stuff page titles with irrelevant keywords in the hopes to fool Google.
  • Save our Hotel Website SEO Checklist and assess your website’s page titles.

2. Create quality content worth sharing or linking to – When we talk about web content, we refer to the text, images and videos that make up your web pages. We’ll discuss three different types of pages with different content goals: Product description pages (e.g. room types or the hotel restaurant), location or amenity pages (e.g. activities near the hotel), and blog posts or news articles:

Quality content on hotel product pages

Product pages should inform prospective guests about exactly what they can expect at your hotel. Make it clear how the hotel looks, what they will get and how much they will pay to enjoy your services. All of this is extremely important, but only once a user is actually viewing your page, but how do we ensure they find and visit your product pages? An obvious way to get more eyes on your pages, is to use stunning visuals that users would want to share and link to. Professional photography is extremely important on hotel websites.

With regards to text, describe your product in a way that highlights the unique experiences that they offer. For example, instead of describing a room as having “Sea Views”, you could describe what is unique about your hotel’s sea views. Flowery adjectives do not make your content more unique, any seaside hotel can claim to have “spectacular sea views” or “the best sea views”. Try describing what a visitor will be seeing and what she could experience, e.g. “180 degree views of the Knysna Heads meeting the Indian Ocean, perfect for a scenic sundowner”. Make your products sound unique and desirable without using flowery language, and website visitors will want to share your content with others. Special offers and packages are also often shared by visitors. If you have a special rate for popular dates or events, make sure to make it clear how great the deal is or what makes your package a unique experience worth linking to.

Location and Attraction pages

Location is just as important to your hotel online as it is offline. You are surrounded by great content! Travelers searching for accommodation or planning a holiday often search for keywords that are not directly related to your product. For example, a traveler might search for “golf holidays in knysna”. Make sure you have pages that are tangentially related to your hotel. A page about the golf courses near your hotel in Knysna might have caught the traveler in the previous example’s eye. If your content about the surrounds is thorough and truthful, others may even see your hotel website as a valuable source of information for your location and link to you. – Bonus tip: If you are fortunate enough to have a concierge, use them as a valuable source of content for your website.

Shareable blog posts and news articles

When creating timely content on your blog, make sure to highlight current events or recent positive news in your area. Even if you only have the time and resources to write an article a week, a blog post every now and then can vastly improve your reach on search engines. Once again, focus on content that users will want to share. Something funny, romantic or unique happened at your hotel? Write a three paragraph blog post about it and throw in a photo if you have one! A blog is all about being social and sharing content. Blog posts don’t have to be focused on your hotel, though. You can write about events and happenings in your surroundings if you have the capacity – website visitors will thank you for it and once again see you as an authoritative source of timely information about your location.

Helping users share your content

Now we have covered the basics of content that website visitors might want to link to, make sure you enable them to share your content as easily as possible. We have a great post about social sharing on hotel websites with tips on how to include sharing buttons on your pages. You can also kick start sharing by using your personal or business social accounts (Twitter or Facebook Pages) to share content with your followers.

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Hotel Web Design | “Expedia Hit By Big Drop In Google Search Traffi”

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Source      : USA Today
By             : Alistair Barr
Category : Hotel SEO FloridaHotel Web Design

Hotel Web Design
Hotel Web Design

Expedia shares fell more than 4% Tuesday on concern the online travel company may have lost traffic to its website after being caught trying to artificially boost the traffic it gets through Google’s search engine. Expedia’s website lost 25% of its visibility in Google search between Jan. 12 and 19, according to data from third-party search analytics firm Searchmetrics. That happened while other travel sites such as Priceline, TripAdvisor and Kayak were stable or gained visibility through Google searches, Marcus Tober, founder of Searchmetrics, told USA TODAY. Searchmetrics is analyzing more data on websites that link to, but initial results from this effort suggest that Expedia was paying for some of these links, Tober added in an interview. More links from other sites is one factor that can boost a website’s ranking in Google searches.

Google likely penalized Expedia for such activity by removing credit for many, or all, of these links from its search engine, Tober explained. Expedia shares were down 3.9% at $67.22 in afternoon trading on Tuesday. “While we cannot verify the accuracy of the Searchmetrics report, we have seen Google penalize other companies for trying to do the same,” Brian Nowak, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group, wrote in a note to investors. Start-up Rap Genius suffered similar treatment by Google in late 2013. The firm was reinstated after ending an affiliate program that encouraged bloggers to insert links to its website into their posts.

A Google spokesman declined to comment when asked about Expedia on Tuesday. Dave McNamee, a public relations representative for Expedia, said the company will not be commenting. Matt Cutts, head of the company’s Webspam team, warned this week that creating guest blogs to generate more links for a website “has become a more and more spammy practice.” For years, companies have paid so-called search engine optimization firms to help them boost search rankings for their websites. One technique involves setting up other websites that have links to the main site. However, Google requires these extra sites to be marked “no follow” so that its search engine does not give the links credit in results. When that does not happen, Google sometimes takes action and asks the companies involved to mark these extra websites properly. If Google gets the right response, it often re-instates the companies’ main sites.

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Hotel SEO Florida | “Google Buys Nest To Feather Its Data Trackers”

Posted on Updated on

Source      : SF Gate
By      : Seth Fitzgerald
Category : Hotel SEO FloridaHotel Web Design

Hotel SEO Florida
Hotel SEO Florida

It took Google $3.2 billion in cash last week to snatch up digital thermostat company Nest. And it took a small startup about 24 hours to hack together a working equivalent of Nest’s signature product a few days later. That would be terrible news for Google – if the search giant’s chief interest in Nest was hardware. But as is the case with its purchase of robotics heavyweight Boston Dynamics, or even its dabbling in self-driving cars, Google’s acquisition of Nest isn’t just about creating new revenue opportunities – it’s about expanding the nodes and sensors it uses to collect data on our world. After the blockbuster sale, Spark in Minneapolis, a Nest competitor that makes kits so folks can build their own smart devices, managed to put together a similar Internet-connected thermostat that senses when you’re in the room. Of course, Spark’s hack isn’t as slick as an actual Nest product. CEO Zach Supalla laughs when asked where his company’s quick replication comes up short: “Lots of places.” He lauds Nest’s user interface and stylish design, but says that with more than a day’s work, many designers could get close to Nest’s aesthetic.Undoubtedly, that’s not lost on Google. There are only so many clever ways to manage the heat, and there’s lots of interest in mimicking a successful product. Numbers on Nest’s market penetration are tough to pin down, and the company doesn’t say much. In December, Nest CEO Tony Fadell told Forbes that 1 percent of American homes had Nest devices – a number worth taking with a very large grain of salt. Much of Nest’s value is in its production chain, installed customer base and the talented engineers who built the product. But from the perspective of a company like Google, Nest’s value goes much farther than that.That’s because Nest has built a following thanks to “smart” devices, which memorize users’ habits to predict what they want. “The machine learning aspect is really powerful,” Supalla said. “It observes your presence. It kind of figures you out, and makes your home more comfortable.”

But to do this?

“Sure, you need algorithms, but you really need data,” he said.

Google has been educating machines since Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed PageRank, the algorithm that basically organized today’s Internet. Google’s special sauce has always been the way it responds and adapts to human behaviors and environments as we search and surf the Internet. Becoming a company that pays the bills with advertising was simply a side effect, the best way to make money from its artificial intelligence.

Information the goal
Michael Mace, founder of informatics outfit Zekira, noted on Monday in a blog post that “Google’s mission statement to ‘organize the world’s information’ is no longer a meaningful guide to its actions. To me, the company looks less and less like a unified product company and more and more like a postmodern conglomerate.” But information is the unified product. And laying claim to the pipes, whether smart thermostats or Google Fiber, to route it all back to Mountain View is its game.Google says it will be hands-off with Nest’s brand and strategy; the company of 200 already knows its business. As always, Google will stay out of producing the hardware. Remember, this is a company that gives away its Android operating system to smartphone makers and outsources construction of Google-branded Nexus and Chromebook products.

Privacy questions
Google doesn’t want to make machines, it just wants the ones and zeros that come out of them.

The growing network of connected devices invites all the same questions about privacy as Web browsers and computers. At a conference on Monday, Nest CEO Tony Fadell said future privacy policy changes under Google will be opt-in, meaning the user has to choose to accept the changes, and transparent.

Interpreting data
But let’s not assume that knowing whether your toes are toasty is the limit. Power consumption habits say a lot. In 2011, a group of University of Washington researchers showed they could figure out what programs you were watching on television by the patterns of energy coming into the home. Such data would be invaluable for anyone in the information business, whether it comes through a Nest device or a homemade one. “That’s the kind of thing you can’t build in a day,” Supalla said.

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Hotel SEO Florida | “2014 Social Media Marketing Trends”

Posted on Updated on

Source     : Brafton
By              : Ty Scheiner
Category : Hotel SEO FloridaHotel Web Design

Hotel SEO Florida
Hotel SEO Florida

It was a busy year for the social media industry. In 2013, we saw the teen demographic leave Facebook for other networks that better capture their attention and don’t yet have the entire family engaged. Twitter added video to its repertoire by purchasing Vine, the mobile video app, on top of the announcement that it’s going public. In response, Instagram added video, and more recently launched sponsored images in users’ newsfeeds. Finally, as a fellow coworker pointed out, 2013 is arguably the year when GIFs hit it mainstream, bringing humor and creativity to social activity. With all of the changes, announcements, acquisitions; what can we expect next year in the digital world? Below are my three key trends to keep an eye on in the social media space for 2014.

1. Google+ Emerges as a Serious Player

The platform is still not taken as seriously as it should be, but 2014 will be a year of substantial growth for this underrated platform. Aside from the SEO benefits, Google+ offers a lot of functions that other networks don’t have, such as Communities, Hangouts and the ability to share specific content with targeted groups – not to mention its obvious connection to the world’s number one search engine. On both my personal account and the company pages I manage, I have witnessed an enormous increase in interaction on Google+. Engagement has risen, and with it, so has the ability to build circles as more people join the network. The speed at which you can gain followers on G+ still doesn’t compare to Twitter, but steady growth seen throughout the past year should only go up as people continue to incorporate Google+ in their daily dose of social.

2013 was also the year when G+ introduced us to Communities. These are very similar to the Groups feature that LinkedIn offers, but I have personally seen greater success participating within G+ communities than LinkedIn Groups. Before Communities began, it was hard to promote interaction on the platform, but engagement and follower growth has consistently increased since they were introduced.

+New features for Google+ Hangouts
Google rolled out a number of updates that will make the social network more user-friendly for 2014, including improved local sharing, a better way to share visual content and other new features to improve curation. If your business has not yet dived into the platform, the turn of the New Year is the perfect time!

2. The Evolution of SoLoMo & Rise of New Networks

This past fall, I was fortunate enough to attend Social Media Week in Chicago, where I learned about the current state of social media, and what the future holds. (Learn more about the conference here.) One session that stuck out was the Future Trends in Tech and Social Media, presented by Howard Tullman, General – Managing Partner for G2T3V. He introduced me to the idea of SoLoMo. A combination of the words social, location and mobile, SoLoMo explains where the digital world is heading and how to best share content with audiences in the future. Obviously, social is a key part of sharing and distributing content, but moving forward, location and mobility are going to be key to the formula. We always talk about how “Content is King,” but Tullman went further to say that context actually trumps content – an idea I agree with somewhat. The digital space is evolving rapidly, and to be successful, content must be proximate, relevant and in the right location. Mobile is becoming an increasingly important platform for marketers, with over 133 million registered smartphones in the U.S. This statement might be met with some pushback, but watch for Snapchat to be the breakthrough social platform of 2014. I’m not saying that it’s worth $3 billion, but it does offer many possibilities and it could be a source of untapped consumers for your company. Some brands have already seen this and are moving forward. The online food ordering company, GrubHub, has been extremely creative with Snapchat. The campaign has given the brand a personality on social, helped it to stand out and encouraged follower engagement. GrubHub uses Snapchat to drive people back to other social platforms, display discounts and revealed what goes on behind the scenes at the company. I have received holiday-themed snaps for Halloween and Thanksgiving, as well as general promotional snaps. These are all great examples of how GrubHub is using the channel to relate to consumers and produce relevant content. As a sports fan, I also recommend following the New Orleans Saints on SnapChat. The team offers an exclusive look into what goes on in the locker room, and it also sends fans messages from individual players.

3. Visual Content will be a MUST in your Content Strategy

As my coworker, @laurenekstrandk, mentioned earlier this month, image-based updates have 600 times higher engagement rates than posts that contain only text and video content is close behind. This gap is only going to get smaller moving into 2014. Whether it’s infographics, GIFs, still images or video, visual content is driving more interaction throughout social. This is not to say that text or other content types aren’t worth sharing, but visually appealing posts are likely to become the bread and butter of content strategies. Let’s be honest, plain text can be downright boring at times, hence why adding visual content to online strategies, posts or blogs is extremely important. This captures reader attention and keeps visitors engaged. Eighty-nine percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 watch online video content once a week and in 2014, this number will easily surpass the ninety-percent mark. I also wouldn’t be surprised if this demographic expands to a wider audience.

Not only will visual content be vital to successful strategies, but so will personalization. Businesses that go the extra step to tailor content will better resonate with consumers. I’ve been all about GrubHub’s social strategy, so I will stick with that and explain how personal content has turned me into an advocate. For fun, I sent GrubHub pictures on SnapChat just to see if it had generic responses or responded at all. On two separate occasions, GrubHub sent me personalized snaps in return. Once, I snapped a picture of my lunch not expecting anything back (being a business in the food industry, I thought it was necessary to keep it relevant). Within a few hours, I received the snap below of an employee dressed up as a Pizza, rubbing his stomach with the text that read “Oh ya.” As simple as this seems, it’s an example of outreach that could go a long way to make consumers brand advocates!

Social revolutions: Here this year, Revamped the next

The social space is constantly changing, and what might be a hot topic today could be old news tomorrow. These three trends are just some of many that will be important for marketers moving into the New Year. There will certainly be new topics, networks, apps and ideas in 2014 that marketers haven’t even thought of yet, and that is what makes this industry so exciting. I look forward to hearing what trends you are most looking forward to in 2014!

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Hotel Web Design | “4 Changes Google Is Making And How They Affect Content Creation”

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Source      : Forbes
By               : Tim Anderson
Category : Hotel SEO FloridaHotel Web Design

Hotel Web Design
Hotel Web Design

SEO experts and webmasters spend a lot of time worrying about Google algorithm changes. In 2013, the search engine giant tweaked the algorithm 15 times, and in 2012, it was updated 37 times. Worrying about algorithm updates may make sense for SEO experts and webmasters, but content creators don’t have time to keep up with that. Here are some major changes Google has made and how they apply to content:

Move to Secure Organic Searches

This means that you can no longer mine Google Analytics for keyword data, leaving website owners in the dark about what word searches were used to find or stumble upon their site. Remember when that “Not Provided” section first appeared? This percentage of search data has been growing since 2010, and on September 23, 2013, Google finally shut off all information. This is a blow to those still focused on keyword bombing and density rates; however, those who create quality, creative, and helpful content should see this as reaffirming. Google is giving those trying to game the system less firing power. Instead of focusing on keywords, pay attention to user actions on your site.

A Nonexistent Update to PageRank

PageRank is a ranking of how many links your site has pointing back to it. Links essentially work as votes, raising your credibility and showcasing your site as high-quality. The problem? Google hasn’t updated the PageRank meter since early 2013, and there isn’t a clear idea of when — or even if — it will be fixed. If you’re still focused on getting links from sites with a high PageRank, you can stop — immediately. While there might still be some value, the main idea is that Google doesn’t want to emphasize page ranking. Instead, you should be focused on driving traffic, converting visitors, and becoming an authority within your own niche.

The Hummingbird Conversation

One of the more recent updates to the Google algorithm is Hummingbird, which was released in September 2013. Google wants to understand conversations, concepts, and relationships. In voice searches, for example, you can ask, “Where is Miley Cyrus from?” After the answer is delivered, you can follow up with, “How old is she?”
Hummingbird is still evolving and doesn’t always work, but Google is putting serious effort into making search more conversational and less keyword-focused.

Google Authorship for Ranking

It’s still not very apparent how Google Authorship — or the still unconfirmed Author Rank — will affect searches. Experts predict that Google will use your author profile to determine your credibility, expertise, and authority on a subject in order to determine the quality (and therefore ranking) of your content. In his recent book, “The New Digital Age,” Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt wrote, “Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.” Google could also use your social profile to gauge how many shares an article has, your individual following, and the authority of the site you’re publishing on. If you’re consistently publishing quality content on authority sites that relate to your niche, Google may rank your article higher than articles not associated with an author.

Google Algorithm and Content Creators

  • Ultimately, the key to Google’s algorithm changes lies in its guidelines for content creation:
  • Content is key. Good content — clear, concise, informative — is better than bad content.
  • Use plain English. Write for real people.
  • Keep links to a reasonable number. Make your content readable.
  • Really, it all goes back to one idea: Create quality content, and you won’t have to worry about it riding the Google update rollercoaster.

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