Launching a new website is a big event for most companies, and while most of the effort is typically focused on building a great website that delivers compelling content and a superb user experience, what you do before you launch can impact your post-launch success.
Here are five ways you can promote a successful launch before you introduce the world to a new website.
Can you ever have too much of a good thing? According to Google, the answer is 'yes' when it comes to SEO.
In the past couple of years, the search giant has made a concerted effort to improve the quality of its index.
The measures taken are wide-ranging, from updates targeting content farms to the more recently announced penalty for pages with too many ads.
Now Google is apparently set to take its efforts one step further by targeting pages and sites it deems have been over-optimised.
Google doesn't like paid links, sponsored posts and low-quality content.
So it was quite surprising, and embarrassing, to learn this week that Google was associated with all three in an apparent effort to promote its web browser, Chrome.
That left Google with little ability but to respond and explain itself. And yesterday it did just that.
If you're a publisher, one of the most frustrating experiences is to discover that your content is being scraped by a third party that does not have permission to use your content.
Even more frustrating: when that scraper's website is able to outrank yours for searches related to your own content.
For obvious reasons then, Google has engaged in a considerable effort to thwart scrapers. And now it's turning to the public for additional assistance.
Google's Panda update was designed to eliminate spam and content farm
content, thus improving the quality of Google's index and SERPs.
Many sites caught in Panda's grip claim that they were unintended
victims of the update, and have sought ways to recover.
Many have been
unsuccessful in reestablishing themselves with Google, but according to
the Wall Street Journal, one publisher may have found the secret to recovery.
In the battle to maintain the quality of its SERPs, Google is increasingly tweaking its algorithm. Since there are only so many on-page ranking factors for Google to consider, it's logical to expect that off-page ranking factors will only become more numerous and important over time.
At least one website operator believes these off-page factors may now include email reputation. Jake Ludington, who runs JakeLudington.com, noticed a drop in his traffic in April, and after looking at his website, came to the conclusion that his email newsletter must have caused the drop.
2011 has been a busy year for Google. Faced with increasing criticism about the quality of its search results and the tactics publishers use in attempts to influence them, the world's most prominent and widely-used search engine has taken aggressive steps to crack down on paid links and content farms.
But Google's tweaks may go well beyond moves to reign in black and gray hat SEO tactics. In fact, it may be looking at core components of its algorithm altogether.
Have you started questioning the quality of Google's search results?
You've probably noticed that a lot of people have been lately.
Before you start asking too many questions, however, Google's Matt Cutts
wants you to take into consideration a fact you may not know: Google
really wasn't all that good in 2000.
Google's algorithm looks at a significant number of ranking factors when it decides where a site should be in the SERPs. These ranking factors, and the weight they're each given, change over time.
Last week at PubCon, Google's Matt Cutts revealed a new ranking factor that may debut in 2010: page load time.
Google's Caffeine update is coming. Billed by Google as "the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions", Caffeine is not your regular Google update.
When Caffeine was announced, Google did something it had never done before: it offered up a sandbox so that the public could preview search results with Caffeine and provide Google with feedback. While that sandbox is no longer available, you won't have to wait long for your Caffeine jolt: according to Google's Matt Cutts, Caffeine is coming after the holidays.