Earlier this year, Google issued the infamous “Panda” update that was meant to separate the high-quality and low-quality sites based on relevance and content.  Part of the reason for this change were content spammers: websites that generated content for the sake of generating content (and hopefully rankings to increase their ad revenue).  These sites didn’t generate content to help anyone, just to line their individual pockets with “cash money.”

So, it begs the question, what is the purpose of a search engine?  Is it to have marketing messages shoved down our throats so we never get the answer to the question we asked?  NO.  It’s simple: to give a user relevant results for their search.  If I want to know how to do web design, I don’t want a list of agencies, give me results that show me how to do it.

Unfortunately, not all marketers think like customers.  We revert back to the industrial revolution: if we build it, they will come.  If we sell widgets, then let’s rank for the term widgets…and we win!  But that’s not how it works.  We as customers want to be engaged, humored and given an answer.  That’s what both Google and Bing are all about.  Google’s recent update was to give fast results to the search WITH engaging material.

Here’s how we approach search: relevance and engagement.  Give the user what they’re looking for and engage them with real and usable content.  That’s it.

You always win if it’s what the customer is actually looking for.

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