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... Read Full Bio
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