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On 27 May Google officially changed its advice on how to improve rankings for your website. This significant change went unnoticed until it was picked up and reported via Twitter and then followed up by a post on searchengineland.

As you can see from the highlighted text below Google has switched their position from increasing links to creating high quality sites with content that people will want to use and share.

GWMT text change

what does this mean for websites?

This is excellent news as it reinforces the message that creative content marketing is the way forward and that simply increasing links is a way of the past. Strategic content marketing campaigns yield results because they focus on the needs of real users rather than focusing on the needs of search engines and Google wants to reward those who engage in this process.

By focusing on the needs of real users we can break down the buying process and consider what target audience personas value at each stage of that process – then deliver that content. If this is done well i.e. not only using the principles of traditional marketing but also with an eye on optimisation, then the end result is a win-win for the user, the website and Google.

“simply increasing links is a way of the past”

It’s not easy though, as anyone who has engaged in strategic content marketing will appreciate. It’s not just a case of throwing up a piece of content and waiting for the links to come, it’s about breaking down and understanding the various elements involved and then injecting a level of creativity that delivers excitement and learning so that the visitor feels an emotion that sparks a desired response.

Effectively it means that if you haven’t got your head around what Google is trying to achieve then you need to, and fast. Our Guide to what SEO is now should help with the key concepts.

more Google algo updates are happening now and they will continue into the future

Right now there is a significant update happening with Google that will continue until 4th July. Rankings are likely to fluctuate and website owners will have a nervous time of it, not least because these ever improving updates can sometimes be overly aggressive and clip the wings of sites that ought not to be affected negatively.

If you are doing all the right things in terms of focusing on your target audience then you are future proofing your website and therefore you don’t need to worry about chasing the algorithms. If you have any concerns about the state of your SEO please do get in touch.

Image by The Shelley Blog

Google changes advice from getting links to building quality content by