Is GOOGLE about to sweep your website out the ranking door?

I recently spent some time with a couple of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) specialists for professional service businesses who began to send me into a state of confusion when they started talking about black & white furry animals. I’m sure I heard the words Panda & Penguin come out of their mouths but I passed it off as my brain going for a quick walk. But before I knew it, there they went again referring to how Panda & Penguin were sending businesses online presence packing out the back door. STOP TRAFFIC! What is going on here!… So thus they explained. Panda & Penguin are actually the names of the algorithm updates that world one search engine (and probably soon to be super power) uses to regulate and determine how a website is ranked when searched for. An algorithm is basically the formulas and methods that go on in the background of Google to calculate the ranking of a websites on the web. Google changes its algorithm about 500 times a year. Most changes are minor, but every couple of months, a major update happens that gets people talking because of the impact it has on ranking results. The two most recent algorithm changes have been called Panda & Penguin. Panda was rolled out in February 2011 which cracked down on sites with stolen or duplicated content and also sites that had high ad to content ratios. Penguin was released in April 2012 which placed tighter guidelines on website optimisation and also made changes to web spam controls.

I could dig deeper on the techy side of this serious topic for you but I wanted to share what I think is most important to what this means for your business. After doing some further research into the topic, word has it that Google are prepping to release their next furry animal algorithm over the coming months which will see the biggest changes to ranking algorithm’s since 2006. The only people who shouldn’t be concerned about this should be the ones who still use a Nokia 3310, dial-up internet or watch their favourite movie on VHS. This is serious business for all website holders. WHY? Because if you haven’t got your SEO (search engine optimisation) strategy right, it could see your currently sexy 1st page ranking slip from the firm grip you supposedly thought you had. The trouble with this is, not many marketing people, let alone business owners in general know whether they have an effective, solid and reliable SEO strategy in place or not. I mean, how many times do you even use the word “algorithm” on a weekly, yearly, lifelong basis?? The fact is, as we shift to a more heavily cloud/internet based vehicle for driving our marketing activity and lead generation, we need to ensure that the strategies, sites and infrastructure we put in place can withstand changes such as our cute black & white Google rank killing friends.

To put this in super super simple terms and actions that you should not spare anytime in taking, do the following asap:

  1. Ask whoever looks after anything to do with the web in your business if they even know what SEO is?
  2. Once they have established what it is, ask them or yourself what your strategy is around strengthening your SEO and ensuring it can withstand that next sneaky little Penguin that will no doubt pop its head over the next few months and gooble up your search ranking
  3. Take action now in seeing a professional SEO strategist, no web developer, not marketer, I repeat… a PROFESSIONAL SEO STRATEGIST and get your strategy sorted and implemented. You can have the sexiest website or blog in the world but it will not do you any good sitting 20 pages back in a google search ranking.

Don’t let GOOGLE sweep your site out the door… get a proper Search Engine Optimisation Strategy sorted TODAY. Share this with your friends and spread the word of the black & white bird.

Check these guys out, who are PROFESSIONAL SEO Strategist’s if you want to do it right without hand over gold bullions – www.gcommerce.com.au – Paul Gregg – paul@gcommerce.com.au

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Drowning in a sea of content!

I was attending a function the other night and whilst waiting for it to commence I thought I’d jump into the world of twitter to see what was going on… Within minutes I felt like I was gasping for air after being dropped in the middle of the Content Sea. Tweet after tweet had links to reems of content outlining the 10 things to do, the 15 things to know, the 12 mistakes never to make and on and on and on. It made me think that all this time we have been asking the magic wish to receive information/knowledge/content faster and easier via the modern modes of technology only to have the wish granted to a point of exhaustion and confusion!

So what do we listen to, who should we listen to, where should we look, how do we steer away from the light of confusion after almost loosing our breath??? Here are my thoughts, without contributing to the sea and committing the very act I am writing about!

Choose your leaders
The Internet and associated social media and networking streams have made it very easy for anybody to push content down its pipes and land on someone’s screen. This content is not restricted and is not quarantined (in a strict sense). This means anybody can publish anything about anything which has created this double edged sword of YES it’s fantastic we all have the ability to share our points of view, expertise, experience and methods to produce outcomes and results but on the opposite side there is an oh NO! who do I listen to?, what do I believe, who do I believe, what should I follow, what should I consume? In this light, I believe you need to choose the leaders in the fields of your interest. The ones who have a proven track record in what they are preaching, who can back up what they are saying with personal reflections/instances of success. For example, I am really interested in getting my passive income streams and strategy sorted from an investment point of view. If you read every blog or followed every 10 points to follow checklist that is out there on investing, you would drive yourself absolutely crazy! After driving myself a little crazy i have done my research and I now have my sole sources of influence on these subjects. So, do some research, talk to people and then choose 1-2 sources of information and centers of expertise on your desired topic and stick to just that. You will find you will then gain momentum and progress without taking 3 steps forward and 5 back because you are constantly faced with differing points of view, strategy or suggestion.

De-clutter your Inbox
Do you find when doing your morning ritual email check, which for most of us is stupidly the first thing we do, that you delete a bunch of emails from a bunch of sites, product providers, service providers, networks and the like without even reading them? And you do this day in day out? Some of which you don’t even know where they come from and how you became a receiver! You need to spend the time de-cluttering these wasteful distractions and temptations. Yes, they do fall under the category temptation because they have been written to draw you in and tempt you to further investigate/enquire/read. Rid yourself of the temptation and the burden of the daily deletion chore by unsubscribing from such messages (usually a link in size 2.5 font at the very bottom of the email).

 Less is more on the Social Media front
I believe that sometimes we fall into the addictive trap of trying to accumulate the most followers, followings, connections and friends because we all have this inbuilt sense or need to be or be seen as popular. This is not the case, and I think less is more on this front. Spend some time deciding who you want to be updated by and who you want to fill your scrolling news feeds on your social media home walls.

So are you sinking or swimming when it comes to the sea of content you are thrown into on a daily basis? Do yourself a favour, come up for a gulp of air and decide who’s 10 point checklist you look at, listen to and implement going forward…

My Leaders:

Business Performance in the Accounting Space – Rob Nixon (www.robnixon.com) & Colin Dunn (www.colindunnblog.com)

Business Growth & Sustainability – Verne Harnish (www.gazelles.com)

Investing Success from an Australian perspective – Pete Wargent (www.petewargent.blogspot.com)

Motivation – Tony Robbins (www.anthonyrobbins.com)

Health & Fitness – Tim Ferris (http://fourhourbody.com/)

Idol – Richard Branson (http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson)