10 Jan Google changes means man now rules not robots
In recent months Google quietly announced pretty big changes to the way it does it searches, in a move which could have significant implications for the PR industry.
It is a change ensuring that quality will now win the race to the top of Google rankings and the SEO game will change greatly.
Until now techy types have ruled the roost with their links and optimized text, but to the highbrow end of PR this was an injustice, because it meant any old tripe could make it to the top of Google so long as you knew how to play the SEO game where robots rule.
Under the old set of rules it meant that eloquent and interesting copy often never got a look in with glorified spammers hogging the limelight as they knew what Google was looking for.
Now though it is about readability, which means the journalists the wordsmiths will once again reign supreme, just as they did in the days before the Internet.
In recent years headlines had been littered with link bait, written for computers rather than mankind and to those of us with a journalistic background it has seemed morally wrong.
I’ve always felt well written, authentic copy will get shared and now this is far more powerful than link building and Google is reinforcing this.
It will spell trouble for some PR agencies who just go through the motions, who write a press release and put it out on a news wire and think that’s job done.
Now though good journalists and storytellers will start to take the place of some of the PR guys. High time too – when I was a news editor I was horrified at some of the hideous press releases I encountered from so-called experts.
These changing times are an opportunity for us all to think bigger too. We have to concentrate on writing the kind of tales people want to read – the type of stuff that will be shared on social media.
For those in the PR agencies and SEO companies without a stomach it will spell their demise, but to those with craft, guile and passion it’ll be a golden ticket.
Only the few need fear- PR is moving to exciting new territories, a more level playing field- it’s interesting times.