SEO, Hashtags, Geotags, Metadata, Triple Tags, tag clouds–the linguistics of the search has developed a nuanced and complex syntax of its own–that can either elevate data to a universal platform that would make Shakespeare jealous or will damn you do the depths of the www. Google recently delivered several public announcements regarding their updated search functions that will relegate content farms (web sites whose main ambition is to succeed at the Google algorithm by either copying content from other sites or creating their own content engineered to surface in searches–though not always a good qualitative match for the search) in the rankings below high quality sites that feature original content and in-depth analysis.
One such content farm, Demand Media, which relies on a significant corps of freelance writer to manufacture content which will pop up in Google, saw its stock value plummet as soon as this announcement was made. Personally, I applaud a “clean up” of the web that appears to exponentially deteriorate as far as the value of information goes. AOL and other big time players on the web have re-conceived their image as information synthesizers, pinpointing the valuable stories existing amongst the cornucopia of mediocrity involving Justin Bieber’s haircut. However, with the amount of influence that Google wields, many enterprises have decided to live or die by Google because it is the quickest way to get noticed–but if you don’t play your cards right like Demand Media, it can be an easy way to slip off the grid.
What is a successful Google strategy? How to feature prominently within Google’s algorithms but never having to suffer the consequences of their change–do any universal and immutable SEO precepts or principles exist? I’m afraid not. However, I do believe there is a secret that differentiates those down for the long-haul from those who are here today, gone tomorrow. By implementing a deeply rooted vision predicated on a general need or desire you’re set and only have to stay the course, finding new ways to connect your idea to the people. What enterprises such as Demand Media suffer from is a lack of investment; they don’t seize the moment, they merely strangle it until it has no more breath of life in it.