How to Be Visible in Google Search

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If you want attention for your product in Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or any other venue, whether you like it or not, your social media marketing has to include a way to be visible in Google search. Here’s why.

Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average (visualize them here http://www.internetlivestats.com/google-search-statistics/), which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. —Internetlivestats.com

For anyone tallying,

Google: 67.6 percent
Bing: 19.2 percent
Yahoo: 9.8 percent (under 10%???)
Others: 3.4 percent, combined

Doesn’t matter if you love Google or hate it. If you want to be visible in Google searches, you’d better attract their attention. Being visible in Google search engine (and the other search engines follow Google) is key to social media marketing for authors or any other entrepreneurs. Here are some new facts that may help you.

You Are at the Mercy of a Hummingbird, a Panda, and a Penguin

These three labels are the pet names of Google’s most well-known search algorithms.

An algorithm is a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer—so these formulas embody Google’s monster calculations that determine which websites answer a search query best.

Once upon a time, Google’s spiders crawled over your site and gobbled up breadcrumbs you dumped into your web content. All veteran website gurus remember how we fed Google spiders at the turn of this century. Spamming keywords, anyone?

However, you and your SEO consultants are wasting time with key word spamming, over-stuffed meta tags, and invisible embedded text. Actually, you risk losing ground or being barred for search results with such strategies. If you haven’t already, stop paying consultants to do that kind of SEO non-magic for you.

In today’s world, content is at least prince or princess, if not actually king or queen. And Google moves inexorably forward to make content king. Or so they claim. And so they will, except there will always be entities willing to pay Google a lot of money (or a little money) to advertise specific content—high-quality or crap. Money talks. Advertising works. But so does great content.

What Does a Panda Do?

Panda looks at your content to decide if you’re for real. Don’t worry about specifics, because by the time you understand them, they’ll change. Like up to two or three times per day…

So know this.

When you write your content (or have me create it for you), the first thing to ask yourself is, “Would you see this content as trustworthy and relevant?”

Common sense tells you to look at site mechanics. Is your site easy to navigate? Proofed? Accurate?

Is the website written in a natural form of its native language or is it obviously written by a non-native writer? Of course, not all valuable content is written in English (or French, or Portuguese), but whoever writes content for a site produced in English (or Swahili or Gaelic) has to have a solid command of that language’s syntax and usage.

Why? Easier to read. Also an indicator that the content is written by an expert and not by an offshore content mill. Remember those? They’re still around, but working more quietly.

Next, does your site have original content, a variety of articles on related topics, and solid research, facts, and support for arguments? Or do you post copies of material you found at other sites?

Do the topics offer real value to readers? High-quality content that relates to the site? Or do you rely on reworking the same article with different keywords sprinkled through?

Are you an expert in your topic? Do you converse about your topic on other sites? Have you written a book or an ebook? Do you have a platform and a following made up of people who know of you and trust what you say?

Do you engage in social communications, with a give and take, or simply post 140- character ads all over Twitter? Can you answer questions about your topic? Yes, folks, Google knows this stuff. You are being watched.

How Do Your Feed a Penguin?

The Penguin algorithm was written to help Google stop trusting backlink cheaters. Penguins eat the search engine ranking of sites that try to scam Google. If you, or your consultants, spend time cruising forums, directories, or blogs to add your own comments with a link back to your product, stop that.

Penguin’s job is to see those ruses and drop your ranking into the toilet as a penalty. There are ways to reverse such a ranking hit; but like reversing identity theft, those methods take time and energy. Better to let organic links find you and your all-star content.

It’s like asking a bunch of strangers to “like” your social media page in return for you “liking” theirs. You all get a bunch of “likes”, and then you never visit each other again or even say “hi” in passing. Useless—and you can reap very negative consequences. There is no short cut to quality content.

The Hummingbird is ALL

Panda and Penguin are components of Hummingbird, which is Google’s overall strategy algorithm. Hummingbird was introduced in early fall/late summer of 2013 and featured “Google Authorship,” a meta markup system that I got really good at for my clients—in a legitimate way.

But author ranking has passed from favor at this point, though it may be back, and it’s not figuring into the newest algorithm changes. Yes, I know it’s confusing, but haven’t you figured this out yet?

Stop fretting over SEO and put your efforts into outstanding content. Then tweak the signals you send Google (or Yahoo, or Bling, or Dogpile). The bottom line is simple and destined to play more and more strongly into how a site figures into search engine hits.

You Have Two Ways to be Visible in Google Searches.

  • Buy ads and get placement at the top of the page where the paid content is featured— users KNOW this is paid content, and many find that attractive.
  • Spiff up your website, improve your content, and bolster your social media marketing profiles and presence.

5 Ingredients—Search Engine/Social Media Marketing Edge

  1. A great website full of top-notch, original content, engaging images with descriptive tags, salient content between the “title” meta tags, and rational use of words and language that convey the meaning of your original content.
  2. Polished, engaging profiles on your chosen social media platforms. A great photo of you looking right at the camera. No goofy cartoons and such unless they are your brand image.
  3. An email address, preferably Gmail (hey, I don’t make the rules—Google has the biggest niche), that is cross-associated with all of your online content no matter where it is.That email address should also be connected to your website’s backend data.
  4. A Google+ page and profile. No excuses. This is part of what Google sees when it looks at you as an entity, and it helps. Do plus Google+ plus ones help, too? No one is saying, but I wouldn’t bet against it.
  5. Regular, consistent personal appearances on social media sites. Offer conversation, comments, questions, greetings, helpful input, images, and sometimes promotional remarks about your site or product. But only sometimes, and only with value added for the user.

I Couldn’t Have Said It Better, So I Won’t

If you want to know much more about Google search and how it impacts your business and your social media strategy, I’ll refer you to Marie Haynes’s article at Moz about Google algorithms. But since those algos change almost a thousand times a year, I wouldn’t spend too much of your marketing time-budget chasing them, though you should have a basic understanding.

I’d spend time and money creating the best user experience and most useful content you can develop about what you do. If you’re having trouble working with

  • content
  • modern keyword use
  • becoming an expert
  • flaunting your knowledge

get in touch with me, Maryan Pelland, and we’ll talk about your goals. You want to be heard? Let’s make some really loud music.

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