In the following Q&A, Sally Falkow, social media strategist at Meritus Media, discusses Google’s recent crackdown on content farms and the differences between Google and Bing.
PR News: Should communications pros be concerned with Google's recent crackdowns on those who try to game the search system and on content farms?
Sally Falkow: As long as you are producing original, relevant content you won't be at risk. Google is cracking down on low-quality content that is focused only on SEO results. Some companies have published regular press releases just for SEO purposes. There is no reason not to publish regular news content, as long as it is well-written, relevant and interesting content.
PR News: From an SEO perspective, what are some differences between Bing andâ€¨ Google?
Falkow: From a ranking perspective, Google and Bing are remarkably similar. Trying to optimize your content for two different search engines would appear to be a waste of energy. That said, Bing is gaining ground. Latest statistics from comScore show that in January 2011, Bing's share of the search market rose from 12% to 13.1%, while Google's dropped from 66.6% to 65.5%. Bing calls itself a decision engine and offers slightly different results.
PR News: How is search and social media connected?
Falkow: Search engines are paying close attention to social signals—which could be "likes" on a Facebook page, comments and mentions of a Web site, blog or news release in social media sites. These social signals are definitely impacting search ranking.â€¨
PR News: What's one piece of tactical SEO advice you can offer?
Falkow: Tie your social media content strategy to your SEO activity, and use your keywords and links in all your news and PR content—blogs, tweets, articles, videos, images and news releases.
[Editor’s Note: For more of Sally Falkow's SEO strategies and best practices, watch PR News' SEO Strategies & Tactics to Boost Your PR Webinar on demand.]