Two announcements that may alter your online marketing strategy. January 2014 Summary of Search


There were a couple of announcements from Google’s Matt Cutts this month that shook the world of digital marketing.


1. Guest blogging out?
In calling out spammy guest blogging practices, Matt Cutts wrote about “the decay of a once-authentic way to reach people.” Guest blogging and multiple author blogs tend to do many things right, but Matt pointed out that some SEOs using guest blogging have gone to the dark side recently.

Where they have gone wrong:

  • Automation – Where online marketing practice becomes easy to automate, it becomes easy to abuse. Any gaming of Google’s algorithm is really where abuse begins.
  • Lack of relevance – Many guest bloggers were targeting any old blog, and spamming instead of outreaching. If high numbers are part of your guest blogging outreach, consider you may be spamming instead of trying to connect authentically. Good outreach means trying to build relationships, not creating large quantities.
  • Doing it “just for the links” – Google doesn’t have any problems with the marketing of quality content through outreach, content promotion, etc. When the content is high quality, it makes sense for it to be offered, shared, distributed. This test is key: Is the resource or practice helpful even when it doesn’t provide links?
Going forward, content marketing should be about the content, and should be about the marketing. See what I did there? Spread good content to relevant people and you’ll never go wrong in Google’s eyes. Probably.
(See more


2. Does social media effect rankings on Google? 
The short answer is “no”.

It’s long been assumed that “social signals” referred to popularity and activity on sites like twitter and facebook. It turns out that is incorrect(in 2014). For some people, Matt Cutts dropped a bombshell when he announced that twitter and facebook were treated like any other site.

Before you close your facebook account though, consider what this means:

  • Of course, you should continue using social media. If you were involved before just to increase your rankings, you were offtrack. There are many reasons to use social media for connecting with prospects, partners, and content. Similarly, your email does not improve rankings, but you should still use it.
  • In being treated like any other site, having a large number of pages on the site linking to yours can help bolster the authority of your own page. Let’s call these other pages linking to your page “followers” or “follows”, “friends” or even “retweets”. That network of links can convey authority on any site. Unfortunately, facebook and twitter are blocking Google’s crawling in many ways. Some might not even be necessary. So it will be interesting what information we uncover in the future.
  • Google+ does not block Googlebot, of course. And the internal links from your circles and overall activity are indeed likely to be used in a future Google algorithm. Matt Cutts gave help debunking a study last summer that assumed a relationship between Google+ shares and higher rankings. The study redo concluded that both shares and rankings were correlations, and there wasn’t a relationship of causation there.
In the future, authority from inbound links may be replaced by Google+ social signals, authorship, etc. Google says maybe 10 years into the future, but that’s 3 years in internet time. 🙂
See more in Matt’s video at:

Hyper Dog Media Summary of Search January 2014

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