3 Key Points from the Google Webspam Report 2015 Digital Marketing News

 

We’re now a week on from the release of Google’s Latest Webspam Report. This yearly encyclical from the Godfathers of search is more than just a warning to crafty marketers with a penchant for black hat SEO activities; it’s a potted guide to the parameters within which digital marketers should seek to operate over the next 12 months. Here are 3 key points to take away:

“We saw a 33% increase in the number of sites that went through spam clean-up efforts towards a successful reconsideration process.”

The relevance of this point hinges on one question: how spammy is your content?

For more of you this probably isn’t something you need to worry about – but for outreach marketers who post comments and message board responses on behalf of a brand, this should serve as a reminder that everything you post must be: 1.) Directly relevant to its context; 2.) Unique; and 3.) Free of spammy sales messages. Looking ahead, it seems likely that ever fewer ‘spam’ posts will slip past Google’s mandibles. That’s bad news for clumsy outreach marketers – and good news for everybody else.

“We saw a huge number of websites being hacked – a 180% increase compared to the previous year.”

Action it!

We don’t need to curdle your blood with talk of the dangers of hacking – but what we will do is offer some tips on how to keep your site as safe as possible in these hacker-blighted times:

  • Get 1password. This super-safe cloud-based password vault stores all your login credentials behind – you guessed it – one Master Password (and an account key for good measure). If you’re using 1password for Teams, the account administrator can determine which team members have access to each set of login credentials, which is a great way to limit the damage in the rare event of an employee going rogue…
  • Don’t share passwords in emails or messengers. A private face-to-face conversation would be ideal; a hushed phone call works too.
  • Foster a culture of data security. Don’t just share a password with a colleague – gently remind them of why it needs to stay secret while you’re at it. Needless to say proper handling of sensitive data should be thoroughly covered in each employee’s contract.

“Fighting webspam is one of the many ways we maintain search quality at Google.”

Consider this final soundbite. You know the connotations already, but it’s worth spelling out nonetheless: Google favours quality content over spam. Place that notion at the very heart of your digital marketing efforts, and focus hard on the value of the content you produce. The less spammy/the higher quality the content, the better it will rank. That’s the way Google is intent on heading, and it’s where you need to follow.

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