SEO, meet your “news” best friend: public relations.
It looks like public relations pros who are “in the know” when it comes to optimizing just got a raise from Google. Last week the search engine giant announced the freshest news possible would show up in search results thanks to its new and improved algorithm. The so-called freshness update will impact somewhere between 6 and 35 percent of web searches and deliver more up-to-date and relevant search results. This includes searches for recent events, hot topics, current reviews and news items.
That Was Then in PR
The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Oprah. Those names seem so yesterday when it comes to the wish list of clients’ online PR and Social Media goals. Today the more relevant question may be, ‘Can you get me on Google?’
This is Now in SEO
Enter the search and social era, the digital domain decade carrying a new public relations strategy wrapped with SEO that’s more about getting news and content to organically bubble to the top of Google.
Today’s companies have more control than ever in delivering news and messages directly to users via blogs, newsrooms and social media networks. And Google’s new update separates the winners and the losers in the form of fresh and relative content. With this update comes clear opportunities for PR to influence a company’s search results.
So how can you win the SEO/PR race without losing the quality battle?
When was the last time you checked out your online newsroom? Or do you even have an online newsroom? Journalists expect it, customers and prospects learn from it and Google now digs it even more!
A company’s online newsroom can be an excellent source that delivers fresh news content to Google – and this couldn’t be a better time to give your online newsroom an audit. An organized and optimized online newsroom is feeding Google that content freshness and frequency the search engine is now rewarding.
Tip: Post company news via optimized press releases, media coverage, blog posts, events, images, videos, white papers, industry news and company newsletters.
For those lacking in time and internal resources to add a newsroom to your website or blog, online newsroom provides as MYPRGenie, MyNewsdesk, and TekGroup can get your online newsroom up and running in 24 hours.
In the short time since Google’s freshness update, it looks like the biggest winners are news sites, broadcast sites, video portals and a lot brand sites, according to the list of winners and losers from Searchmetrics.
Tip: Taking this into consideration that news blogs posting fresh content frequently will be rewarded, now is the time to ramp up the editorial calendar and gear up the content frequency to leverage the Google fresh update.
Have you ever searched for something like [SES Chicago] and have the first search results be the agenda from 2009? Well Google’s latest algorithm changes all that so searchers will be served up the most timely and relevant news related to an event.
Tip: Press releases and event-related blog posts to capitalize on this search marketing and online public relations opportunity.
Google+ Brand Pages
Well, we all know Google loves Google. So with the announcement of Google+ brand pages, this is one fresh choice for news content to keep on the radar.
The Battle of Quantity Over Quality
What does SEO expert Bruce Clay think of all this Google freshness?
“Over time websites accumulate a lot of older and out-of-date content that is seldom refreshed. In those cases it is best to refresh the content, or to replace the content with a new replacement page and 301 the old content URL to that new content,” Clay said.
Great content generates links and likes, and mediocre content will draw nothing but Panda penalties and no rankings. Having content for the sake of content is sometimes a good thing, but most often it will not generate traffic unless it is quality content.
“In the freshness race this seems to be forgotten. The freshness race appears to give credibility to the site with the most writers,” said Clay who offers a full-day Search Engine Optimization Training Workshop at SES Chicago on Friday, November 18. “The one-person company generating perfect content will find it difficult to compete against the company with a team of writers generating good, but not as good of content… the freshness race seems biased by quantity of fresh content instead of the quality of the content.”
Bottom line: companies need to focus on delivering quality news types of content that searchers will “Like” and Google will “Link.”
Publish quality company news that is relative, consistent, and frequent.
Meet Lisa Buyer at SES Chicago, where she will be teaching the ClickZ training workshop PR and Optimized Writing Monday, November 14.