The search landscape is changing. That’s nothing new. In fact, it changes all the time, for reasons you may not expect or even think about in your daily online work.
Your competitors are changing, the search engines are updating their algorithms and finding new ways of providing the best opportunity for relevancy (and sales). And – you (hopefully) are also adapting; adding content and tuning your sites for optimial organic results placement. Talk about a moving target!
On top of that, spammers and black hat seo artists are constantly trying to beat the search engines – creating a volatile place for any sense of normalcy.
Example: I was doing some research using geo-targeted keywords. I noticed that a previously #1 page listing on Google was pushed to page #2, and it seemed so sudden.
What the heck happened?
Answer: Universal Search – a new search engine results format, a new way of presenting data – capturing video, maps and more from the emerging “social” aspects of the web.
How do you fix your ranking problem in this diversified way of looking at data?
- Get a blog, post regularly – read more on how to start here: blogging tips & setup.
- Get your business into “local” – go to Google Maps Local Business Center and check free or paid
- Mobile Search – early adopters are finding this an exciting area to play – watch for more in this blog.
- Video – Create and Upload to Google Video, YouTube, MetaCafe, Blinx.tv – use keyword rich filenames + video sitemap. If you are launching these videos from within pages, make sure to apply all normal SEO rules – TITLE, META + content with keywords.
- Images – A highly underused (!) area for optimization. Imaging corporate logos or branding lost via image search, or worse yet – a completely inappropriate image next to a news release. ALT attributes and filenames are very important to describe the image. You should also look at “watermarking” these exposed images. A popular service is flickr.com
- Press Releases/News – Use a service like prweb.com and make sure to make it newsworthy – include special mentions of product releases, local conventions you will participate in, training, etc
- eCommerce – make sure to include your product feeds into the ‘shopping engines’.
- Logs – check your metrics and watch for increased traffic from these new sources – and continue working.
(disclaimer: just adding these tactics will move you in the right direction. However, there is ongoing work needed in this area, and it’s a long term committment). Don’t exclude this emerging and important new wave – and make sure to optimize for the social media.
A good example of how to see multiple entry points in Google results, is the famous Darth Vader example. (scroll up/down the page to see entries from images, news, products, video and more).
If you are only applying the old SEO strategies – you will be left behind in 2008 and the competition will race past you.