Fake news is nothing new on the internet and we know it can be extremely damaging politically and socially.
Last week, Google announced it would add a “highly cited content” notice to Google Search results, focused on highlighting the most trusted original sources. The goal is to avoid the lack of context that a story can acquire as it spreads more widely across the web.
According to the company, the update aims to help readers find “the most useful or relevant information for a news item”. But how could this update affect businesses, marketers, and SEOs?
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The digital world and the age of (dis)information
Since the onset of digital transformation, we can notice a difference in the way most people search for information, news or some type of learning.
From television news and newspapers, users began to research various topics on the Internet.
In this way, they enter a place where, in addition to informative articles, they can absorb knowledge through:
- social networks;
- among various other formats.
But even though the vast amount of news and information (which circulates from many different sources) is extremely valuable for understanding different perspectives and constructive opinions on an event, it can be difficult to define whether the information is reliable or not; after all, anyone can produce content and publish it online.
This is also due to the fact that specifically with regard to news or “hot topics”, we notice a great movement of users and companies that reproduce and replicate these topics and, not always, with all the information required.
In recent times, this has produced distrust in the reliability of sources, as well as an uncomfortable feeling that we are not getting information about everything that is happening in the world.
But this new “highly cited” feature can be a great benefit in helping us organize information on the Internet and avoid misinformation.
How does Google’s new update affect your digital strategy?
Before anything else, it is essential to think about the credibility of your company, brand or company. When I talk about credibility, I want to encourage a thorough analysis of your brand awareness, how you communicate with your audience, and most importantly, your authority in your market segment.
But why is it important? Even with many search engine algorithm variables, one thing is certain: Your audience helps build credibility for your brand.
With the new Google Search update, businesses, brands, marketers, and SEOs have the opportunity to stand out even more in their markets.
This is because when you offer more value to your audience, more people will consume and share your content, which will make your online domain a reference for them and, therefore, for search engines.
So, if you already understand and work with a good digital content strategy, remember the importance of building and establishing a good relationship with your users and thus establishing your authority on the subject.
And for this, some Digital Marketing actions cannot be missing. Here we discuss some of them.
Produce relevant content for your audience
Effective communication is one of the main pillars that support a digital strategy. Its purpose is to convey information, data, or lessons through a specific channel, keeping your audience informed on specific topics.
Developing a content strategy will help you build credibility by educating customers and conveying valuable information to answer questions that users – whether or not they are consumers of your brand – are looking for online. And that’s where the new Google Search update can help!
By generating value for users through relevant information, you can build perceived credibility of your brand in a positive way.
As a result, search engines are more likely to see you as a trusted source, and as a result, your content would be more likely to be tagged as “highly cited,” which is great for brand awareness.
Be an authority in your industry
Becoming an authority on a subject is a challenge, but it is possible to build a path based on knowing your market and, above all, your consumers. Offer the best possible experience, create improvements based on the opinion of those who are already your customers and learn how to generate value through your content to attract new consumers.
It is therefore essential to be present at the different stages of the purchasing cycle. Understanding your audience’s top questions and showcasing success stories and customer testimonials can go a long way to building your authority.
In other words: If your brand or business doesn’t fix the issue that brought the user to your website or blog, chances are they will leave the page with little wait time. and doing nothing.
Search engines understand this as something negative, since the traffic directed to your page does not stop there and, on the other hand, it will benefit you if they understand that what you produce meets the needs of your audience.
Not all “hot topics” are worth exploring
This point, in my opinion, is one of the trickiest for this new update.
After all, the fleeting virality and sensationalism of the news seems to me to have motivated this decision on Google’s part, which makes sense, if we are surrounded by countless different sources talking about the same subject.
So pay attention to what matters: what your audience wants to know and how you can help your content stand out. Adding a critical analysis, interview with an expert, or even an opinion piece can be the key to not only standing out, but also not being harmed by the “more of the same” kind of content. “.
And as such, not all viral topics, news or content is very likely to be good for your online reputation.
A few years ago, marketers realized that mentioning or talking about trending topics generated a quick return in traffic and shares.
But they also realized they couldn’t always develop the conversion strategy at the same speed.Simply put, with the new update, it becomes even more important to understand what really drives value for your audience.
How to optimize your content with the new Google update?
There are several best practices for building an effective SEO strategy, which can be used even more objectively with the new update. Having a well-structured, quality and easy-to-read text is the first step!
Hierarchy of information on the page
When an Internet user arrives on your content via an Internet search, it is quite possible that he scans it before reading it: dynamically, he wants to be sure that he will find the right answer there.
For a positive user experience, it is essential to structure the page with titles, subtitles and themes.
In this way, it is possible to separate your content into smaller sections and, therefore, make it easier for the user to access the information they are looking for. After all, long paragraphs and poorly divided sections encourage the user to leave the page and look elsewhere for the answer.
Exchange backlinks with other reliable sources
When it comes to reliability and becoming a trusted source on the internet, building that authority alone is nearly impossible. After all, if each company or brand specialized in different topics, we would have a lot of similar information everywhere, exactly what Google is trying to avoid with this new update.
This is why a backlinks strategy can be an excellent alternative! They work as a great reference for Google: If a website that already has a good reputation on search engines sends links to yours, Google tends to trust your site more..
On the other hand, directing your users to the original source or one that already has an established authority on that topic can also make a good impression on the search engine.
In other words, if Google understands that this source is trustworthy and directs its users to it via search, it is very likely that the redirect links present in this source are also trustworthy. Therefore, make sure to indicate reliable sources in your content and find good partners to place your links.
Enrichment of original content
After much research on forums and other marketers’ groups, I’ve come to a point that I think is the biggest differentiator to highlight about Google’s new update.
Let’s be honest: news, viral or learning content does not always have real value on the Internet. Indeed, there are many replicas of an original text or a short story that has just been published!
But if the theme is the same, what can you do differently? Well, one solution is the enrichment of the original content, adding different information, even critical analysis or opinion on the main topic.
One of the best ways to develop this is, as I mentioned earlier, through your own audience: how this information affects your user, your marketor even adapting to language more specific or familiar to your audience.
Find out what your audience might gain from this information and explore it intelligently and strategically; don’t do “Ctrl C + Ctrl V” with different words.
Google updates always inspire businesses and marketers to reinvent themselves, but it’s also a great opportunity to rethink how you capture your audience’s impressions and return value to them.
How about putting these tips into practice to see if you can earn the trust of the world’s most famous search engine?