Online marketing is not a level playing field. Multinational brands have the money and manpower to saturate the web with billions of ad impressions, publish link-building content at breathtaking speeds, and seize the premium positions in search results by the sheer virtue of their size and budgets. The situation isnt likely to improve anytime soon. According to a recent report published by ZenithOptimedia, Internet advertising is the fastest growing sector of ad spending, and is projected to grow from $63.7 billion in 2010 to $95.0 billion by 2013. This will make it even more difficult for small to mid-sized brands to get noticed amidst the endless stream of advertising that the average online user is bombarded with every day, leaving a handful of companies with the lions share of mindshare, clicks, and sales.
Through ingenuity and scrappiness, however, even the most budget-conscious company can create an impressive online presence that can go toe-to-toe with the major players.
Google and the Magic of Meritocracy
Googles secret sauce lays in its PageRank algorithmthe holy grail that tells the search engine in what order search results should be sorted. While the exact details of PageRank are closely-guarded secrets, its well-known that the system is founded on the brilliantly simple idea that the more inbound links (also known as backlinks) a website has, the more likely that the website contains useful content. Since Googles goal is to provide its users the most relevant websites for any given keyword, its natural that the websites that are linked to the most are given the top positions in the search results.
Heres how you can leverage Googles PageRank algorithm to your advantage and boost your Google search rankings:
- Reach Out: Get in touch with blogs and websites related to your business, and offer them original and compelling content. This content can come in any form; whether its a blog post, a technical white paper, an instructional video or an infographic, having your content featured on other websites (with links back to your own site, of course) is the most surefire way to build backlinks without resorting to shady tactics.
- Diversify: While the number of your backlinks is important, recent changes to the Google algorithm place a high emphasis on the diversity of your backlinks as well. This means submitting your content to as many different sites as you can, instead of submitting 20 different articles to the same site.
- Google Webmaster Central Since nobody knows Google better than Google, this is an invaluable resource for learning what will help and hurt your Google search rankings
- Google After Panda More info on the what the changes to the Google algorithm mean for your site
Remember to check back for Part 2: Anywhere They Go, You Go.