Sorry, but I disagree with the basic premise that Max Kalehoff is basing this MediaPost column on. He says that it’s more important to think of how you’re marketing to algorithms as opposed to people. Since searches, which compile their results via those algorithms, are how people find brands, products and companies, it’s more important he thinks that you keep those in mind when drafting campaigns and online content.
This is exactly like the thinking that has led to the fall of traditional advertising and the rise of micro-targeted marketing. Agencies and others became so obsessed with how a commercial was going to look visually, what was going to look flashy and high-tech and what was funny and slowly become less concerned with what was actually connecting with the audience. If marketers start getting so obsessed with how metadata-friendly their content is they’re eventually going to forget that the whole point of being found is to reach out to the audience.
This is exactly the wrong direction to be going in. We do not need more focus on tweaking things so they’re found within searches. I don’t mean to say that there’s anything wrong with that being a goal – making the front page of Google results should be on every marketer’s to do list. But that’s something that we need to leave it to Google and other search engines to sort out.
Let me give you an example: Tom Biro is always sending me the Google searches he runs that contain phrases included in posts he’s written. The latest one, just today, was a search for “i love netflix.” The second result from that search is a post he wrote on his blog The Media Drop. Overlooking the fact that this is the kind of thing that just shouldn’t happen, it did happen and it’s not because Tom spends hours pouring over how meta-friendly his posts are. It’s because Tom is a good writer who has developed a following by putting up important and relevant information. He’s established himself to such as extent that his blog is ranked highly by Google and his traffic is representative of that.
That’s what marketers need to be spending their time on, building relationships and their own reputations and not figuring out how to manipulate their content to come up higher in search engines. If it happens, it’s because you deserve it, not because you gamed the system.