There’s been a lot of change in deciding what ranks on a Google search result page over the last few months. According to Andrew Girdwood, 'Too many SEOs are in denial about the radical changes that have overhauled Google in recent months.'
One of the biggest changes Andrew’s talking about is the importance of ‘real time search’, which requires a fundamental shift in how you go about producing content.
So how can make your content production process more suited to the demands of real time search?
Have a quick approval process
One of the challenges of content production is getting the various people involved to sign-off the content. If you want to respond to the latest Twitter trending topic you can’t have a sign-off system where you have seven people involved, taking two weeks.
If you want to take advantage of the real time search opportunities you need to get the content live as soon as possible.
Throw the schedule out of the window
It’s good to have an advanced plan of the content you want to produce. Sometimes it will be possible to plan in advance for real time search opportunities, perhaps content for an annual event, but a lot of the time you’ll be producing ad-hoc content, so it’s important not to get too attached to the advanced plan.
But you can predict the future
Some trending topics and peaks in search demand aren’t hard to predict. This week, the budget has been trending on Twitter. It didn’t take a social media guru when the date was announced to foresee that. Monitor what has been trending before and use that experience to predict the future.
Speed up your cache speed.
If you’re producing rapidly-changing topical content, you need Google and co to be revisiting your site as quickly as possible. There’s lots of ways to speed up Google indexing and caching, including Twitter. A fixed gear cycling forum I frequent has been able to get content indexed in 90 seconds using twitter.
Include the hash tag
Generally people are great at including the hash tag of an event or topic in their tweet. They tend not to be so good on their own website. People will Google hash tags to find out what they’re about, so make sure you include it in your content or the usual SEO hotspots.
You need cheerleaders
Just because you publish something, it doesn’t mean it will necessarily receive attention or traction. You need a supportive audience to help you spread your message - this can be Twitter followers, Facebook fans or email subscribers.
The main point is you need a community who likes what you do and wants to tell people about it.
Measure the Success
There’s a multitude of different ways to track click-throughs from websites like Twitter. As these types of results are gaining profile on search results, it’s becoming more and more important to have a tracking system in place that helps measure the success of every piece of content you produce, and, if possible, every person who shares it.