As SEO Ranking Signals Continue To Widen, Brands Must Take More Than Traditional Factors Into Account, Advises Punch Communications

in Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE (3/13/2013) – In 2013, Google will continue to widen its ranking signals to take into account areas such as customer experience, meaning brands should understand that a successful forward-thinking search strategy should include more than just on-site factors and link building, advises integrated PR, social media and SEO agency Punch Communications.

Last week during a session at the SXSW conference, Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s web spam team, confirmed the search giant is currently developing its algorithm to prevent businesses that offer bad customer service from ranking well in the results pages. The crackdown on these sites, which is expected to take place later in the year, is being rolled out to protect searchers from bad experiences when purchasing products or services online.

Google currently uses online reviews as a way to assess a website’s customer satisfaction. However, the potential for fake reviews mean they alone cannot be used as a reliable signal to assure the reliability or trustworthiness of a business. As a result of this, the search giant is now evaluating additional ways to gauge customer experience.

Whilst Cutts did not disclose what shape such signals will take, this widening of Google’s algorithm means that the key to ranking competitively within search results will be taking not only traditional SEO elements, both on and off site, into account, but also the quality of customer service and the shopping experience. Therefore, brands may need to further encourage consumers to share good experiences online, through social media and reviews, to create a positive brand perception to Google.

Pete Goold, managing director of integrated digital PR agency Punch Communications, says: “Google is constantly striving to improve its algorithms to rank the best websites and serve their users the most appropriate content available. Traditionally, this would be achieved through considering a website’s relevance to the keyword queried through on and off-site factors.

“However, the question of customer experience is becoming an increasingly important factor when ranking a website and Cutts’ most recent admission means brands must start to consider ways in which they can provide Google with the evidence to show they are committed to delivering quality services. While Google is actively working to expand its ranking algorithm in this area, it continues to be of the utmost importance that businesses offer positive experiences, which their users then share, alongside traditional SEO tactics.”

If you have been researching the services of social media, SEO and PR agencies, contact Punch Communications and find out what an integrated approach can do for your business. Please visit www.punchcomms.com, or call 01858 411 600.

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