What you need to know for your business to survive online
Search, above all else, is marketing, and it is undergoing a massive change, according to David Amerland in his book Google Semantic Search. If your business is not visible in the results of search engines — with Google being the main one — then it is difficult for customers to find you. In the past it was possible to game the system by creating artificial links so that your website rated highly in search results, but artificially promoted results are likely to become a thing of the past with the rise of semantic search.
So, what is the new secret of getting customers to find you through the Google search engine? There is no one secret as such, but you can improve your chances by:
- Generating quality content that delivers value to the end-user
- Ensuring your website is easy to use and navigate
- Getting your business talked about on social networks and blogs
- Getting your content re-shared on social networks
- Having a strong social component which engages prospective customers
- Generating fresh content and remaining part of the online conversation
- Getting into Google+
- Connecting all of your online activities
- Authenticating everything with rel=author and rel=publisher tags
- Being authoritative
It seems to me after reading the book that the author has provided a range of hints, rather than a clear description of the actions which need to be taken. Most business owners have a limited amount of available time, and it would be helpful to know whether, for example, half an hour spent on polishing a Google+ profile would bring a bigger return than half an hour spent generating new content. The reality is probably that everyone will have to spend at least some time dabbling in everything.
The book makes it clear that, whatever line of business you have been in before, you are now in the publishing business, and if you want to thrive in the future you are going to have to devote considerable time and resources to generating content and engaging in social media. In my view, that is an important message for business owners to hear.