There seems to be two ways to adress the problem with getting a high ranking in the search engines. Either you find a way to “trick” the algoritms by using a lot of clever linking here and there. I´m not talking about taking your webpage serious and having relavant copy text and URL:s on it, of course. The other approach is actually providing a lot of updated relevant content on your webpage with unique URL:s. Which of course is a description of incorporating a blog into your webbpage. Or, even better, actually building your whole webpage using a blog tool.
Companies around the globe are spending a lot of money and energy on SEO (search engine optimiziation) consultants of varying quality and ethical level of conduct. My guess is that this will pass in the coming years as corporate blogging becomes more withspread. The upside is obvious:
- Earn your expertrole. Lets the world know that you know something. It´s hard to bluff being an expertif the criteria is actually writing text and let other people judge if it is worth reading or not. Which is what blogging fundamentally is all about.
- Low cost marketing. Conversational marketing is a lot cheaper than fancy advertisment. The tools are more or less free to install and use. You will of course have to put a little effort into reserach and writing. But compare that cost with hiering external marketing consultants and copywriters and your CEO will probably don´t have to spend too many sleepless nights doing the math.
- “Free” Search engine optimization. OK, I´m not an expert in search engine optimization, but as far as I´ve understood it – nothing beats the real McCoy when it comes to relevant content! The whole point with search engines is of course to guide people to webpages with relevant and popular content containing the search words. If you don´t have much to say or care about your area of business – hire SEO consultants to try to cover that up. If else – why not share your knowledge and thoughts with the world? Hey, maybe there´s lots of people actually searching for relevant content in your area of business?
The media and the way people actually relate to each others going online through social media. Blogging and micro-blogging through presence applications like Jaiku or Twitter are changing the way humans interact. The big trend is definately there , althought I have been pretty sceptic for a long time (thanks Joakim for not letting me forget that…;-). I suppose seeing is believing – and you will have to engage yourself to be able to see for yourself.
As blogging and micro-blogging becomes mainstreem in corporate communication aswell, we will probably see less and less energy spent on what we today call SEO and more and more energy spent on actually creating relevant content thorugh blogging instead. In a way it´s the same development as in marketing vs core business – spend the money on improving products and services (preferably together witth the users) instead of spending tons of money on glossy advertisement telling how incredibly good the stuff is.
You can run, but in the long run you can´t hide, if you will. ;-)
Update: Tip from the guy I most feared would read this post (but he was nice in his commentary ;-) – read Anton´s (professional blogger and SEO-expert and much more) brilliant article in Internetworld about the future of SEO! (in swedish)