Day Two: Search Engine Love with Melissa Fach of Search Engine Journal and SEO Aware

On the second day of marketing, we’re pleased to trade in those two turtle doves for some search engine love from blogger/SEO maven Melissa Fach!

Turtle Doves

Image: Mark Rain via Flickr

Quality content and search engine optimization go hand-in-hand. If you want the search engines to trust your site, you’d better be writing quality content; if you want anyone to find that content you’ve been slaving over, you’re going to need SEO. The Internet’s already operating at max capacity: If you want anyone to discover your little corner of cyberspace, you’re going to need a little love from the search engines.

At its core, SEO is a simple concept: optimizing your site so search engines can find, process, and send web traffic your way. What makes search engine optimization so difficult is the fact that understanding how search algorithms work is more of an educated guessing game than a precise science—and just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, the search engines release an algorithm change that puts you back at square one.

Thankfully, we’ve got SEO experts like Melissa Fach to translate that SEO-speak into plain English. We asked Melissa, the managing editor of Search Engine Journal and owner of SEO Aware, to share her own perspectives and insights on the industry’s past and future.

We’ll be discussing how search engine algorithm changes (most notably Google Panda) affect your content strategies. For those not familiar with Panda, here’s the Cliff Notes version: Google released a significant algorithm change in February 2011 that placed a strong emphasis on quality content, effectively killing off the low-quality content mills that had sprung up all over the Internet.

Image: Melissa Fach via seoaware.com

Featured Blogger: Melissa Fach

Blog: Search Engine Journal, SEO Aware

In addition to being the Managing Editor for Search Engine Journal, Melissa Fach is the owner of SEO Aware, a company that focuses on providing SEO, marketing, and consulting services to clients. When she’s not blogging or tweeting about the latest and greatest in SEO, Melissa spends her time volunteering at the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary.

1.) What is the biggest misconception about the Google Panda update?

Google is mean. They are not; they are trying to ensure that their users find what they need and that they have a quality search engine (in this case!)

2.) Explain how Google’s Panda update has changed the world of online writing.

I think it has drawn a very bold line that now differentiates those that know how to write for the web and those that have no education in this field whatsoever, but were churning out crap. Google has made it clear that they want educational/informative content that isn’t about self-promotion. It needs to be done right and guidelines need to be followed. I think it has set those of us that have worked so hard to learn apart from those looking for a quick buck.

3.) Where do you see the trend of search engine algorithms heading?

There really is no limit, is there?  Faster and more accurate information. Everyone knows that they can get a lot of accurate data they need on sites like Wikipedia or IMBD. Search engines want to offer they same kind of accuracy without the spam and junk.

4.) Any words of encouragement for beginner bloggers that don’t have much of an audience yet?

You will not have an audience until you have a collection of posts that are helpful, educational and informative. It is your job to push hard to get those posts out there so people will find them and appreciate them. This is not an easy task and I highly recommend you don’t just push your posts down people’s throats. Become an active member of your industry’s online community.

One other thing I would suggest is to recommend other blogs that you respect, and that have semi-large followings, on your blog. If they have a post you like you should link to it and say why. Also, use whatever is out there to help expand your blog – videos, infographics, images, polls, etc.

5.) Why should someone with no web presence invest in creating online content?

I am smiling because I can’t believe we still have to answer this question. Unique, online content (with SEO of course) is your only hope for being found.

If you look at the number of people using mobile devices for searching and the statistics on Internet research done by everyday users you know that the majority of people are looking online for the information they need. Everyone has to find a way to provide information if they are hoping to be found and if they want to begin working on the trust process.

Get social with Melissa on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

More from the 12 Days of Marketing

A Lesson in Content Strategy

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the gift of Free Sales Leads and learn tips on how to make money online by using effective affiliate marketing skills from ShoeMoney himself! Check out our 12 Days of Marketing calendar to see the entire series schedule. On day twelve we will have something you don’t want to miss – the CopyPress team singing along to the song of “The 12 Days of Marketing.”

About the author

Nicki Porter