Lions, Tigers and Panda…Oh My!

I remember a recent Christmas, where I was sitting under the tree trying to assemble a toy for my daughter, which seemed to be made up of at least 1000 pieces. And the directions, although written in English, seemed to be documented by some sort of Alien being, devoid of any rational thought or emotion.

As I was sitting here collecting my thoughts for this blog post, that memory “popped” into my head. I thought…”wow, this must be what most business owners feel when trying to assemble an effective internet marketing program, or strategy”. Ok, well maybe that wasn’t the FIRST thing I thought of …but you get the picture and it’s a fair comparison to what’s happening in today’s digital marketing arena.

The internet has grown and has become more sophisticated as both a search and delivery medium. In essence the internet is growing up, it’s maturing and so are its methods for companies to engage, develop and retain customers. Panda, Google’s newest and most talked about algorithm update, was designed to evaluate websites on “quality” rather than quantity. Meaning, it’s trying to algorithmically determine a viewers “experience” on your website. And it does this through a variety of factors that include quality of content, time spent on a site, bounce rate, (the amount of single page visits to your site and left) and social signals (social engagement).

Google recently said that they are starting to pay attention to social links that carry a large or increasing audience as a possible measure for search engine optimization and marketing. Experts in digital marketing are already speculating that social engagement will be the next measure for ranking.

In a recent webinar, Michael Ullman of Analogy Marketing, stated that “people are becoming more and more connected to social media and social media is becoming more geotargeted”, (Micro blogging platforms that are tagged by your location), i.e. Foursquare, Yelp, Google Places, personalized search results by location etc. Further speculation claims that future SEO top ranking will be determined in relation to “where” you’re typing your search from, or who is in your social circles.

Why am I bringing all this up? We’ll let’s look at it in relation to something we all have to deal with. Every year I have to take my car in for its annual tune up. I know through this on-going maintenance, that my auto has been “optimized” to operate at a very high level and the chances for a break down are small…. Maybe it’s time to look under your internet marketing hood and get a tune up.