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Why Focusing On Google Is Like My High School Relationship



Why Focusing On Google Is Like My High School Relationship

Once upon a time, my life revolved around my high-school boyfriend.

Looking back, I want to hug insecure and super-needy Heather. I was so focused on if my boyfriend liked my hot spiral perm or my tubular neon pants, I didn’t focus on what worked for me.

I unknowingly cut myself off from so many options because I was so laser-focused on grabbing another person’s attention.

I tell this story because the latest Google news is giving me some 1980s-level high-school flashbacks.

Here’s the thing…

I know getting in Google’s good graces is like landing the hot person in high school. It’s tempting to do anything you can to get noticed and “beat out your competition.”

And once you DO have their attention — well, you do everything you can to keep yourself number one. 


Often, this means casting aside the real priority (what works for YOUR site and YOUR readers) — and instead focusing on the ever-changing whims of a mercurial partner.

It’s exhausting. And long-term, it doesn’t work. And it cuts you off from other options that could help your site traffic grow.

I’m not saying you can’t have a healthy Google relationship. On the contrary, you can have it all — great Google positions and a well-rounded marketing campaign that includes email, social, and PR.

But that means you can’t exclusively focus on Google’s whims at the expense of your readers.

For instance:

You don’t need to worry about fake ranking factors (including deleting a blog’s publication date to make it look like new content.)

You don’t need to shove a bunch of keywords in your URLs.

You don’t need to delete older articles because they’ll “hurt your SEO.”


You don’t need to follow a funky Title formula “for Google.”

In fact, Google representatives have stated site owners should create high-quality content that gives readers good information. Not follow some sort of weird formula or “updated hack for 2021.”

If you find yourself racking your brain for the next Google hack, why not try something different that your readers will love (and may even boost your conversions).

Some ideas are:

  • You could comb through your existing email nurture series and see how you could make it better. Or, if you don’t have an email nurture series, this is a great time to create one!
  • You could review your sales landing pages and see how you could squeeze out a conversion rate boost.
  • You could write thought-leadership content that you could repurpose (and yes, get Google rankings.) But more importantly, the content would position your company as a leading resource — and provide tremendous value.
  • You could finally go all-in on ONE social platform rather than splitting your efforts and doing a haphazard job.

The point is, there’s always something you can do that has nothing to do with Google — and still has everything to do with your readers (and your bottom-line.)

You just have to remember that there are other marketing tactic fish in the sea.

(And no, I’m not posting a photo of my old-school spiral perm. That photo is locked away in a very special folder, far away from my other images.)

What do you think?

Are you way too into Google? Maybe it’s time for you to see other marketing platforms. Leave a comment and let me know.


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How Decentralized Web3 Is Changing Online Publishing & SEO [Podcast]



How Decentralized Web3 Is Changing Online Publishing & SEO [Podcast]

Could the web be owned and governed by its users? That’s what Web 3.0 offers, a decentralized web where individuals have control over their own sections of this virtual landscape!

In this episode, Jon Henshaw, SEO at Paramount+ and the founder of Raven Tools & CoyWolf, joined me to discuss his experience on Decentralized Web3.

Jon has recently worked on many Web3-based CDN / publishing/blogging projects. Included in our discussion are insights into what this means for the future of content publishing and SEO.

It’s a place for me to test things around publishing and to get something to rank. So with that being said, I would say that one of the most interesting things that I’ve observed over the last year with what I’ve been doing is the ability to rank content really high without any outreach or link building.–Jon Henshaw, 18:47

I always write in a way that’s very that’s focused on disambiguation. When I write, I mention an entity that can confirm to Google that this is what this thing is about.–Jon Henshaw, 26:13

At SEJ, we don’t do any link building. Our link building tool is our publish button. –Loren Baker, 1:04:29

[00:00] – A little about Jon
[06:23] – Is the increase in videos and images in search results relevant?
[10:05] – How Coy Wolf started.
[17:29] – What signals are becoming stronger over the last year?
[18:50] – One interesting thing Jon has observed in the rankings.
[24:16] – Coy Wolf’s other experiments.
[37:30] – A tactic for reputation management.
[56:07] – Did search visibility for professional news & review sites increase?
[1:01:42] – Can dot-com quality help?
[1:07:00] – How Jon sets up his hosting.


Resources mentioned:

I think the latest algorithm update probably hit on things that may have to do with how much time people spend on the content before they actually click back to the search result.–Jon Henshaw, 26:38

I definitely do the experiment and do things that many people within our field would consider not best practices. Never seen that before, or I certainly wouldn’t advise doing that. But, I’ve learned from it that there are some things I now would suggest or recommend because it’s not as bad as you thought they might be.–Jon Henshaw. 54:14

It reminds me of the Japanese concept of Kaizen. Every mountain starts with a speck of dust, right, so Kaizen’s at the thousandth step. But you have to start with step one, and you just grow and grow slowly and slowly over time. –Loren Baker, 50:43

For more content like this, subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Connect with Jon Henshaw:

Jon brings an unmatched combination of experience and expertise to the world of digital marketing and web technologies. He founded Raven Tools, which became widely used in the industry after selling it to TapClicks in 2017.

He’s also no stranger to the big screen, having worked with Fortune 500 companies throughout his career. Currently, he is the Principal SEO analyst at Paramount, where you can find him directing and overseeing streaming services of Paramount+, Pluto TV, Showtime, and CBS.


Also, as Editor-In-Chief of CoyWolf, he ensures that all stories are reported with rigorous journalistic integrity.

Connect with Jon on LinkedIn:
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Connect with Loren Baker, Founder of Search Engine Journal:

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