Not Too Big to Fail: How Google Can Help the Little Guy

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With all the drama surrounding the “Panda” algorithm update, a lot of big sites were hit hard. Mainly, large content producers that had the resources to generate massive amounts of content – and quickly. In terms of obtaining often stellar organic rankings, this approach was effective for quite some time, despite the fact that the quality of content often suffered.  But all good things must come to an end, and so the golden era of automatic content generation to create thin pages while reigning over Google SERPs are over.

This is where the Little Guy has a chance to step in. One could argue that the Panda update has just made it harder for small businesses to compete; creating a lot of content can take more resources than available. But what is important to stress is the age old mantra ‘quality not quantity’.

Google has gone to great lengths to communicate their mission to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. Useful is the key word here. Anyone not well versed in the world of search marketing can get lost in the technical factors and nuances of SEO. Indexation, canonicalization, backlink profiles, and the list goes on. So before getting lost in the details and feeling like SEO is too complicated and requires too much work, go back to Google’s mission statement.

Be useful.

Make information easy to find. Focus on one thing and do that one thing really, really well. You’ll be rewarded. Users will find your information useful and link to it, share it on Facebook, and send it to their friends. Google will take note of these signals and reward you with better rankings.

One way to do this is to visit Google’s landing page quality guidelines. Although these are intended for paid search, general best practices remain and the main concept of accessibility and trust apply. Justin Briggs, of Distilled recently wrote a great article largely surrounding how your organic bounce rate may be impacting your rankings. This makes perfect sense, considering Google’s mission statement and efforts to push site owners to provide a better user experience.

Key takeaway?

Small business can compete with big business when it comes to search. That’s why I love my job. Simply put, you just need to take the time to craft quality and useful content that establishes you as an authority in the space. This might take some time & energy, but it certainly doesn’t have to cost millions.

Rachel Freeman

Rachel Freeman

Rachel Freeman works for the Jive Software, the pioneer and leading provider of social business solutions. She has expertise in all aspects of search engine marketing and specializes in SEO and paid search for the B2B sector. Freeman has been responsible for the development and execution of countless search and social marketing campaigns over her years in the search marketing industry.
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  • Vikram Sharma

    Hi Rachel,

    I agree with your views on quality of articles. Many a times I have landed on a page with low content quality! The primary goal of SEO professionals should be to improve the quality of content and user interface, and search engine friendliness. The benefits will accrue in the long run but will result in higher engagement/ conversions.

    Back-links etc should come later

  • gman

    I’m just wondering where your source of optimism is. Done any searches lately and seen the “little guys”? Not with the areas I’m looking at. Who says quality over quantity?

    I do question how “easy” you make this sound. Like just do these things and BINGO you’ll be ranking back in no time!

    That’s a great ideal, but can you back that up with some actual links of Panda recovery? 

    If all it takes is a little of this and a little of that, the internet should soon be bubbling with success stories and people actually gaining back their organic traffic. Oh, don’t forget though, the people who now get more organic traffic may just be getting that rank because equally decent sites were nuked as collateral damage. Was it a success story or just luck of the draw. Please don’t confuse the two.

    Have a great day!

    • Agree with you, it may be very easy to say that provide quality content and people would link to you themselves. But it’s not that easy as it sounds. As now Google is penalizing Article hubs and duplicate content so who would now want to publish your article on their site even if it is quality. I am not saying nobody will but it will definitely make it more difficult for small business owners.

  • Great topic i like it keep going

  • Keem Cuper

    Good information thanks to write.
    yes its very much effective guideline of landing page quality guidelines. You will get all your information for paid search and concept of accessibility for you.

  • good post..the landing page must contain quality content..which  enhances the traffic to your page..