Suffice to say that Matt Cutts must be feeling a little tender after the bruising he’s received this week.
There was the “hypocrite” saga, another fairly robust (and entirely legitimate) complaint about the nature of linking and all the brouhaha around the “not provided” development within Google Adwords. As Barry Schwarz put it, Matt is aware that this sort of attention “comes with the job”. Even so, he’s got to be looking forward to his Easter break!
And whilst Larry Kim has given some (much needed) clarity on the “not provided” issue, highlighting the fact that you won’t be missing out on search term information as long as you’re using Adwords API, it’s still fair to say that this change can no longer be regarded as the thin end of the wedge (that, arguably, occurred when “not provided” first appeared in Analytics); more accurately, it’s the middle of the wedge and soon we’ll be at the thick end.
The journey may not be completed but it’s clear where the destination is going to be – and, almost certainly, you’ll have to pay Google to be allowed in.
The consequence of big data is that everyone becomes obsessed with quantification and with reliance on metrics to justify strategy. As articulated here, most marketers accept that making content ROI-orientated is an inevitable aspect of this but the analysis required to draw that connection is growing and growing – in fact, it’s arguable that there’s no justifiable connection at all.
Traditional marketers will smile ruefully when search marketers complain about having to justify everything to their FD – it was ever thus, they’ll whisper. Search needs to be as comfortable with fuzzy numbers as traditional marketing always has been.
Quality of content is a contentious issue – all industry commentators will tell you that you should write for a human reader and that way you’re clearer on what’s “good copy” and what’s not. As such, this article on the nature of Google and Facebook’s interpretation of quality content is very interesting. There’s nothing new in there but it’s good to complete the circle on why writing for Google and writing for humans is one and the same thing.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be aware of Google-specific elements to your search marketing. In particular, with the roll-out this month of Universal Analytics, there’s an important tool that you should all be acquainting yourselves with according to John Donovan at Lunametrics – Google Tag Manager. Quick and effective optimisation and testing – what’s not to like?
Of course, part of the message in Nicole’s article is that good content won’t be regarded as such by Google if it doesn’t reach a discerning human audience – you need to get it out there. And Larry Kim has another fantastic article on the promotion of content – why it’s so important and how to achieve it – this week. As always, any article that includes Stephen Covey’s phrase about “starting with the end in mind” is always going to be on message with us!
And coming back to the toughest of nuts – how to write killer content when the subject matter is not, well, interesting – here’s a new look at the art of brainstorming and how you can use it to come at subjects for unusual angles to catch attention.
Is your content writing dragging you down? Are you struggling to be heard? Please feel free to comment below – or via our social media – and tell us if there’s anything you’d like us to discuss.