Unless you run a zoo, or are involved with exotic animals, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about penguins. But perhaps you should!
Fairly recently, the folks over at Google released their newest search algorithm—named Penguin—that is changing the way search is done on the Web. One of the descriptions of this new algorithm is that it searches more like a human. In a recent HubSpot post, one of their customers made the following observation:
With the release of Penguin, ranking higher on Google seems to be less about gaming the system and more about engaging the visitor. It’s no longer enough to just drive visitors to your site by any means possible. In fact, SEO itself seems to be becoming a far more long-term, human strategy than a short-term, technical tactic.
The post is spot on and well worth your time to read. It’s also a validation of something you’ve read time and again if you’ve been following the posts here on the TMR Direct blog: Good marketing has never been about tricks and tools and gaming the system.
Good marketing is about understanding your audience. It’s about thinking like your customers or potential customers think. It’s about asking the questions they would ask and then giving them the information they need in order to make an informed decision that will solve their problem.
One of the things that the author of the HubSpot post mentioned was that his company realized they had been attracting a lot of the wrong visitors to their site. That’s a huge discovery! Why? Because not everyone on the Internet is your potential customer.
That comes as a big surprise to some companies. But the fact is that for some people, what you offer isn’t the right solution. Either it doesn’t do exactly what they want it to do, or maybe they can’t afford what you need to charge for your product or service. Why keep sending your message to people who will never purchase what you’re offering? It just frustrates them—and you.
So should you abandon Search Engine Optimization altogether? No! But instead of trying to outsmart some algorithm (which won’t happen anyway, because those folks at Google are pretty darn smart!), you should learn to think like your customers—and use your marketing to give them what they’re really after.