Where’s Google Going Next? Content Marketing Trends

Google “oracle,” Matt Cutts, hints at PubCom about where Google is going next.

The same way Wall Street hangs on every word of the chairman of the Federal Reserve, marketers and natural search professionals pay close attention to Matt Cutts. That’s because the Google spam chief is known to provide the world with Google’s “next moves” that will eventually affect the ranking of every website—including yours and ours.

In Las Vegas in late October, Cutts keynoted the PubCon SEO and Webmaster convention, and here are some topics he decided to talk about:

Mobile-Enable or Suffer Punitive Damages: Cutts took time to emphasize the importance of having your website enabled for mobile (using such improvements as responsive design). Our take is that Google knows that mobile searches are going nowhere but up, and wants to deliver these users quality results, not difficult-to-navigate sites that offer frustration. So Google is ready to wield a ball-peen hammer to get sites in line with the swelling tsunami of mobile adoption that’s changing the way the web is surfed. Only when the most relevant sites load quickly, render properly, and work flawlessly on small screens will Google itself be relevant and user-friendly for smartphone-wielding users. Google sees a lot hanging in the balance. Every piece of content you publish must meet this new standard, or be prepared to lose natural traffic.

New Best Practice: One-Click Form Fills. In continued efforts to decide rankings based on quality, Cutts told the audience that websites should adopt requestAutocomplete. Users don’t like to fill out forms online, Cutts said, and so Google is enabling their spiders to detect the use of requestAutocomplete on form fills. This new technology allows users to “one-click” fill out forms with their personal information for purchases and other types of conversions. Matt reported that requestAutocomplete will soon be the new best practice and he encouraged sites to make the improvement now, which should also extend to content marketing landing pages and microsites.

Earned Links from Content = Good. Matt broke the news that there are more anti-spam algorithms in the works at Google headquarters, indicating that they are not done with their apparently ongoing effort to reward sites with natural links (provided by content marketing strategies). These soon-to-be-released algorithms along the lines of Penguin 2.1 will punish sites that have backlogs of links from old linking strategies on their sites that are outside Google’s new accepted guidelines. One additional caveat from Matt: Google is also looking into the idea of punishing sites that generate links from advertorials and native advertising (two paid media strategies).