Google processed around 10,000 search queries every day when it launched back in ’98. Quaint, right? By 2012 this number had increased to 100 billion – that’s 38,000 queries per second and a total of 1.2 trillion for the year. With no sign of slowing, staggering figures like these illustrate the unparalleled speed at which search technology and SEO have evolved over the last few years. It’s nothing short of mind blowing and it’s not just Google – major search engines are revolutionizing the way we access information every second of the day.
These days Google makes around 500 improvements to its algorithm in a year and searches over 60 trillion individual pages on the web to deliver the best results possible in just a few seconds. Its main goal is to bring you the most relevant information in the shortest amount of time.
Search has been improving since the very first engine, named Archie, was introduced to the world in 1990. By 1993 the world’s first web robot had been invented, but it wasn’t until 1994 when WebCrawler launched that the future of search engines changed forever. By allowing users to search for any word on a web page using crawlers, WebCrawler set a precedent that every major search engine has followed since.
It wasn’t until the mid 90s that SEO started gaining momentum. That’s when webmasters and digi-pioneers started realising that optimisation could be a powerful ranking tool. What started out as a simple technique to get websites to rank better became a global multibillion dollar industry that’s still growing today, with professional SEO firms such as MadBeeTech SEO working to improve your website’s rankings.
Today, some of the best advice you can get about SEO is to forget everything you know about SEO.
When SEO started out it wasn’t unusual to come across ranking-obsessed cowboys who’d do anything to trick a search engine, even if that meant keyword stuffing to the detriment of the copy; cloaking, spamming, link-buying and more. It all worked for a while, until search engines got a hundred steps ahead and started laying down guidelines and penalties for anyone caught implementing techniques that are now known as ‘black hat’.
Back in the day, when you typed a phrase into a search engine, it would identify keywords in that phrase and only display results which contained them. Now, semantic search algorithms have given search engines the ability to not only make word associations, but to identify context and intent – quite similar to the human brain. For example – Google knows there is a connection between the words New and York, or that when you type the word ‘Jaguar’ into the search bar, you could be looking for the predatory feline or the luxury car.
SEO has evolved along with a number of other digital tools, services and technologies, and today the most effective way to harness its power is to integrate it into a greater plan and keep up to date with what search engines are doing to anticipate the next step forward.
Along with SEO, online reputation management (ORM) has become an important tool for Internet business today, so focus on using it so that your business is able to create a good impression on your audience.
To help manage your reputation you can work to build a community. What do you know about community building? It can be something very easy such as starting a forum or a discussion board which will allow your customers to post their concerns, questions and feedback regarding your product or service. A company forum will let you interact with your existing customers and you will be able to listen and respond and have direct communication with them.
If you find that negative information about your business appears in Google search results you’ll want to work to surpress that information. Figuring out how to fix your online reputation on your own can be daunting, so it’s best to enlist the aid of professionals. While you can’t force Google to remove listings you don’t like from search results, a professional ORM firm can create positive content related to your business and move that information up in search results. With the net affect being that the negative information moves down in results, and out of sight of most searchers.
Company updates, news of events happening, reports, press releases, and so forth are all things that can also be posted to your company forum. Let your customers know that you’re here for them by asking for their feedback, enquiring about their problems, asking for suggestions whereby you learn about their experience they are having with your product/service. This platform is a wonderful way to know and understand your customers grievances and allows you to resolve them in a timely manner.
You should also be using social networking platforms. Facebook and Twitter are just two social networking sites on the Internet that are growing each day as more people sign on to tell what’s on their mind, share information, vent their anger or just share their happiness. Connecting with your customers will raise to a new level once you become active on social networking websites. You will be one of the first to know what others are saying about your products or services.
One way to present your company in a positive light is to take part in and network with the people attending the various social and professional events that happen from time to time. It will also allow you to connect with various individuals and groups that are known online and have a strong presence on the web. When you attend one of these events, you just need to create a positive image of your brand./company and the rest will automatically follow. Taking advantage of such networking opportunities is important if you want to take your online reputation management to the next level.