Are you wondering how to entice search engines to rank your business highly? As a leader in the creation of business videos, BizVid Communications also produces a weekly SBA Radio show with BizVid’s Caz Taylor as host and SBA District Director Ruben Garcia as guest expert. In this recent interview, we engaged internet technical consultant Carleton Torpin to answer questions about new Google page ranking algorithms and how small businesses can become visible in organic search engine rankings.
SBA Radio: How does a change in Google’s Search Algorithms affect your client’s (and our listener’s) websites?
Carleton: The Google algorithm is like their “secret sauce”. It’s what sets Google apart from every other search engine. At it’s most basic, it’s a finely tuned series of calculations that Google uses to check every website to determine how relevant it is to any given search term. This algorithm is what decides if a website will show up at the first spot on page 1 of Google or buried away on page 30.
SBA Radio: Has there been a recent change with Google’s search algorithm?
Carleton: Yes. In the past year, there have been a number of major changes to Google’s search algorithm. The first major change came in Febuary of 2011 and it was called Panda (after the developer who created it). The big difference in Panda was that Google began to look for relevant video content on website pages. Pages that embedded original content from YouTube or Vimeo were seen as good. If Google found page like that, that site automatically got a slightly higher ranking.
SBA Radio: What about this latest Google algorithm I’ve been hearing about? How does that impact website owners?
Carleton: The newest Google algorithm is called Farmer and it debuted about a month ago. Farmer is the evolution of Panda, so all the things we just discussed are still in place. Video good, ads bad. The new changes in the Farmer Algorithm relate to existing Search Engine Optimization practices.
SBA Radio: Search Engine Optimization means things like key words and page description?
Carleton: Exactly. Whereas before Farmer was introduced, a website could get a high ranking by using the exact same keyword multiple times on their webpage, this new algorithm is noticing these duplicate keywords and starting to penalize websites that repeat themselves too often.
SBA Radio: How can website owners avoid this “keyword overuse” penalty?
Carleton: The best way to avoid getting down ranked from keyword overuse is to simply break out your trusty thesaurus. The Farmer algorithm is able to detect synonyms for keywords and phrases now. So, if you have a website and you sell flowers in san diego, don’t just keep writing the term San Diego Flowers. Instead, try phrases like “San Diego Floral Arrangements” “La Mesa Tulips” “El Cajon Bouquets”. The relationships between these three phrases will be understood by Google and you’ll see an increase in ranking because you haven’t given the same stale content over and over again.
SBA Radio: Was there anything else that Google’s Farmer algorithm implemented?
Carleton: By far the biggest thing that Farmer changed was it’s focus on relevant, informational content over just fluffy sales ad copy.
SBA Radio: What’s the easiest way to offer people this kind of “relevant educational content”?
Carleton: Add an FAQ category to your website. Using the flower website as an example, this page could be filled with helpful information that visitors can read. Write a few commonly asked questions and answer them in a paragraph or so. It doesn’t need to be very long but it does need to be original, so don’t just go copy from a Wikipedia article.
SBA Radio: How does starting a blog help websites?
Carleton: Blogs are a series of short, helpful articles that discuss topics relating to your particular website. Going back to the flower shop example, the owner would only need to write two short blog posts a week to begin to see an increase in Google ranking.
To find out more about Carleton Torpin’s computer/technical wisdom, visit his site.