Google has further modified its natural referencing algorithm… Some have already dived. And you? Be aware, in any case, that this would only be the beginning: it is all your internal mesh that will risk, soon, unraveling. Fortunately, there are Web publishers to manage your content strategy …

Would editorial referencing enter its heyday? It may well be. Thanks to Google. Indeed, at the beginning of May, Google changed, for the hundred and first time of the year, its natural referencing algorithm… Not enough to make a cheese of it, say some. Others, however, have already experienced the full extent of the change. Witness the fall or thereascent lightning of their long tail.

The objective of this modification is, from official sources, to improve the relevance of the results at the level, precisely, of the long tail queries. But in reality, Mayday will also have a huge impact on the editorial referencing.

It will no longer be enough to design a good internal mesh without really working on editorial content. Each deep page of your site is going to have to fight its own fundamental fight and generate added value.

Clear cut on the mesh

The mesh is the weaving ties referents, internal or external, around a web page. The mesh can significantly boost the reputation of a site (and its Google PageRank), improve its positioning in the results pages and bring new traffic (through referral sites). But since a certain day in early May, this is no longer so true.

The internal network, collateral victim

The internal mesh consists in operating this weaving within a website. It’s about multiplying the entries to the deep pages to streamline the cross navigation and exploit some keywords. Or, in the case of the long tail, certain key expressions.

It goes without saying that these relationships must be logical and consistent to give convincing results. In the end, the reader is supposed to enrich his search field during his visit, and the search engines should be sensitive to the valuation of the key phrases concerned.

It is this mesh, in particular, which was targeted by the modification of the Google algorithm in early May 2010.

Long train at bay…

The main effect of the change was felt by a drop of more than 10% on the long tail. That is to say on queries of several words (hence the use of the term ” keyphrases “Rather than” keywords “).

According to the dedicated forums and the Webrankinfo site, the first victims of this tsunami would be e-commerce sites and large portals. Conversely, the winners in history are the extremely niche sites with hyper-qualified content. And all those who already paid enormous attention to the quality and relevance of their content.

Google to specify besides (in the person of Matt Cutts, its responsible for natural referencing) that to please the new algorithm, two strategies are essential:

  • The production of qualitative content
  • Qualifying its web presence as a “Authority”, a “reference”.

Note that Google was already very strict in its qualitative assessment of inbound links, by allocating, in particular, more credit, to academic sites, or press, for example.

Olivier Duffez (Webrankinfo) advises you, in addition to publishing new and quality, to work on your external mesh.

The external mesh has a future

Also called netlinking, the external network aims to obtain inbound links in order to boost the popularity of the site (including its Google PageRank).

As editor or web editor, we probably do this task less often, preferably entrusted to a “real” SEO.

By the way, the goal of a good netlinking strategy is not to get a multitude of links, but to prioritize the relevant backlinks (consistent with the page they point to) and reference. According to Olivier Duffez, therefore, this approach is even more crucial since this famous day in May.

Quid pro quo on the Grande Toile

The most common strategy for getting such links is based onexchange : advertiser A’s site will link to advertiser B as long as the latter includes a link to your advertiser. It is hard to imagine Coca-Cola exchanging links with Pepsi. We can dream, of course.

But in reality, it is a fact: the more competitive the industry, the less you will find reference sites that will accept this type of exchange. By the way, the blogger principle works quite well, and it’s not uncommon to see “competing” bloggers doing this. The blog you are reading is a perfect example.

Another disadvantage of the external mesh: this procedure requires management. Once the mesh is in place, it must be maintained and the links must be made permanent. In short, displaying varied and relevant external links is not easy. Even less is it about getting inbound links on deep pages.

The boardOlivier Duffez is, above all, to get links to deep pages. Since Mayday, sites that manage to get external backlinks on their deep pages are doing very well, according to its first estimates. And it also invites you to try to exploit social networks to attract the attention of Internet users on your deep pages. Or take advantage of directories that agree to reference deep pages or better: which include links within the content.

In short, it seems to me that all this work on the mesh is, at the same time laborious, time-consuming and that it depends a lot on a variety of external factors. As a good content strategy evangelist, I would bet more on editorial work, where you have total control over the tools and resources, and can just as easily measure the effectiveness of your strategy.

Pamper your content!

It goes without saying that I will advise you above all to pamper your content. Because this Google decision only confirms, if it were still necessary to do so, that the editorial strategy is always a winner.

SEOs have understood this and increasingly rely on collaboration with editors and web publishers to create targeted, editorialized, high value-added and engine-optimized pages. For their part, Web editors and publishers have known for a long time that they can no longer be content to write for a human reader and that they must follow the evolution of natural referencing to satisfy demanding robots. This aspect is even an integral part of their profession. Because they write and publish for the web.

And I’m sure most of them will give you the same preventive treatment for Mayday:

Write often, write a lot, write well

Generous, relevant, up-to-date and user-oriented content (in the sense that this content interests him, is readable, understandable and ergonomic) can only help you to cast a wide net on the long tail.

The more you write, in a variety of formats (news, product sheets, blog posts, institutional content, files, etc.) and for a variety of audiences (prospects, new customers, subscribers, partners, etc.), the more you increase your lexical repository that supports your web presence.

Take the time to describe, in the right words, your trades and expertise, your products and services. Design advice sheets, briefs on your sector of activity, interviews with specialists. Set up a FAQ – a good FAQ is an editorial format with high potential in terms of SEO. Indeed, the contents are supposed to naturally answer questions that the targets really ask themselves.

By writing often, you fulfill another imperative, which is to keep the conversation going with audiences, to keep readers loyal (the freshness of the content is one of the first criteria that reveal the credibility and interest of a website, according to studies).

Finally, write well: work on your wording, develop an inventive, original, influential editorial line. Use the right keywords and phrases – that is, the words and phrases that your readers will enter into Google. This assumes that you know your readers, understand their mentality, analyze their requests. This forces you to anticipate their information needs and give them rich, value-added content on a regular basis. In short, this requires you to set up a real content strategy. And therefore, to use not only a SEO, but also a web editor.