Anyone like me who follows changes in Google’s algorithms as closely as the football results will have dropped everything last week to read Search quality highlights: 40 changes for February on the Google Inside Search blog. Anyway, I’ve read it, so you don’t have to, but although the sum of the many changes to Google’s algorithms may be quite significant, there probably aren’t any individual actions which most companies need to take urgently. The changes continue Google’s drive to make sources of useful information more important than “lists of stuff”, so – as has been the case for the past few years – it’s all about having useful content on your website. Everything you add makes your site just that little bit stronger in the search engine results.
My advice? If you’ve got the basics of search engine optimisation right (the stuff we’ve been discussing here on Wednesdays), then stop paying anyone outside of the organisation to work on this any further. “SEO consultants” can do a great job if you’ve got thousands of pounds a month to spare (and a site which can justify that), but the majority of them who are charging a few hundred pounds or less won’t be able to get anything worthwhile done. Instead, spend your money on getting great articles, news stories or blog posts written, and spend your time trying to get great links to your site from other good websites. That’s how you “get on the first page of Google”.