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If your website appeals to people, it will appeal to Google too.

Posted by
Date: 2 September 2012

The SEO industry is reeling after the most recent Google algorithm updates, viz. Panda and Penguin. Google is clearly focusing on improving the service to their search engine’s users by recommending websites that are contextual, original and offer a quality overall user experience. These updates have emphasized that!

The website marketing industry and specifically the search engine optimization sector is a highly competitive one. This fight for your buck has forced many search engine marketers and optimizers to turn to trickery and tactics that violate Google’s best practice guidelines. Google, in retaliation, hire the finest and brightest to counter this spoofing and have developed algorithms that use artificial intelligence in new ways to enforce their best practices guidelines (to those seeking to optimize their websites).

Panda, which launched around February of 2011, proved only to be a slap on the wrist compared to Penguin, launched in April that sent out a clear message to webmasters still trying to "trick" the search engines into ranking them ahead of their competition. Both the Panda and Penguin updates contained very clear messages for internet marketers to stop focusing on technology and tricks and start focusing on their users.

But the Panda and Penguin messages go even deeper. The search engines are not the only place on the web that a brand needs to maintain a strong presence. The interactive exchanges that people have with each other and with the brand (online) are happening on the social platforms, and the search engines are placing an increasing importance on how these conversations influence their views on brands and how their websites should rank.

This means that a brand can no longer rely on a well-optimized website to earn Google's attention. A brand must be a conversationalist, going where the people are and engaging them in discussion, and by doing that maximize its reach.

So rather than asking yourself, "How do I optimize my website to better rank with search engines?" ask, "How can I optimize my website so that it's spoken about and shared?"

Tips on Social Media Optimization

Engage with fans on Facebook

Simply announcing what your company is up to isn't going to get fans engaging with your brand. Post information that is relevant to your brand and of interest to your stakeholders. Invite questions, suggest other reading and provide links to content. The objective is to have open conversations with your fans.

Tweet about topics of interest.

The search engines are all looking at Twitter activity, at the keyword and brand-name level, as signals for which brands deserve top rankings. Know your stakeholders: provide information that will be of use to them and they will not only follow you, they'll retweet what you share.

Upload videos to YouTube

Uploading videos to YouTube, optimizes your brand as well as your website.

Remember, Google owns YouTube. When content is engaging, people what to share it.

Share information on Google+.

Google owns Google+ too. As Google+ gains in popularity, the conversations there will help with brand and search engine optimization. People have been somewhat slow to add another social media profile to their online presence but Google+ is key to Google’s success in the social media channel and I am sure that they have the smartest minds on it (lets face it, they can afford it) - pulling all stops to get it off the ground.

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