PR Campaigns – The blog

September 19, 2008

Google — Your company’s new homepage?

By Sparkle Media

Through this class and others, most of us have learned that being successful in public relations goes beyond just being a good writer and verbal communicator. Nowadays, entry level practitioners will have to know the ins and outs of social media, marketing and search engine optimization.

Controlling our client’s image to its stakeholders and spreading its message are important. One of the most strategic ways of doing this is through search engine optimization. But now, many PR and marketing professionals argue that content is just as important, if not more, than key words used to determine your client’s Google ranking. One such person is Kami Huyse. She covers this issue in Six Game Changers: Why Content Will Once Again Be King in Search Engine Optimization.

Huyse points out that companies used to focus on using popular key phrases in their content and monitoring the number of visitors to their Web site to propel them to the number one spot on Google’s search engine. She says recent changes to how search engines organize information has changed these methods.

Search engines now focus on a site’s emphasis instead of just key words. They rank search engines’ results by how local (regional versus national) they are to the searcher. A site’s relevancy is determined by the credibility of the sources it has linked itself to. These are just some of the developments.

But why should we care?

Well, our jobs depend on how well we can publicize our clients. A huge part of that is our client’s online persona. Many people find out about an organization through the Internet. How well they can find our clients online is determined by our skills, which includes knowledge of search engine optimization.

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9 Comments »

  1. It’s very important to understand the Internet and what changing trends might mean for your clients. Search Engine Optimization is just one such issue that has to be kept track of in order to have effective brands and official Web sites. Google and similar search engines are usually the first way people come across your client. Therefore, it’s vital to focus on content and readership. Only a year ago I was in Advanced Online Media and my professors were lecturing on the importance of keywords and phrases. And yet times have already changed. As PR practitioners we must remain knowledgeable not only about social media sites, but the best way to position our clients in cyberspace so their Web sites can be found. Online trends are constantly changing and it’s essential not to fall behind.

    Comment by marialinda17 — September 21, 2008 @ 10:32 am | Reply

  2. Note: your link goes to the main blog, not to the specific entry referenced. Can someone please fix it?

    Comment by drgilpin — September 22, 2008 @ 9:00 pm | Reply

  3. I completely agree with everything said in the last paragraph. Everyone uses the Internet because it is simple and fast. Most of us all have search engine tool bars because we want quick access with the click of a button. This also means finding what we want as fast as we can. If someone has to dig deeper than three pages to find your client, most likely they will stop looking. It is our job to make it easier for the stakeholders to gather information about the client. Search engine optimization is just as important a tool in PR as social media, press releases and special events.

    Comment by cclark2 — September 22, 2008 @ 11:50 pm | Reply

  4. Content is number one in my book. Someone with a little bit of computer savvy can manipulate a Google search. This was brought to my attention last semester in my electronic media class. With that said, any crappy site can end up with a number one Google ranking. It’s the sites with good content that will stand out in the end.

    Comment by davemerenda — September 23, 2008 @ 10:06 am | Reply

  5. I agree with what Dave said in regards to content and maniputlation of a Google search. The content of the site, the ease of navigation and the relevancy to what the person is searching for is going to register the most number of “returns” from a person-regardless if it is number one on the Google search return list or not. However, someone who may not be as experienced with searching Google will probably click on the first return–but will soon discover the irrelevancy of the numerical order and start scanning for content.

    Comment by kristarogers — September 23, 2008 @ 11:42 am | Reply

  6. With the high use of the internet for research purposes, knowing how to best utilize a search engine is extremely important for PR professionals. Companies that don’t end up in the top ten items found in a search are not likely to be clicked on. Our job is to make sure that we know how search engines work and what will make our client end up on the top of the page. I’m glad that search engines have changed from key words to relevancy and content. This makes our job easier against sites that may have all the key words right but have little or no relevance to the searchers interest.

    Comment by mekelly1 — September 23, 2008 @ 11:42 am | Reply

  7. Using search engines has become a part of our everyday lives. The way that we go through life is wanting instant gratification. Being able to plug in what we’re looking for into a tool bar gives us quick access to whatever it is we are longing to find. I personally look at the first couple of hits on google and if it doesn’t pull up something that relates to my topic, I pass by it. I don’t even go to the next page to see what is on the following page I just look on the main page and change my search criteria if I didn’t find what I was looking for on my first try. The great thing about changes to search engine optimization because it enables you to get what you need out of the first two hits, rather than the random sites that pop up based on keywords.

    Comment by lindsaylynch — September 23, 2008 @ 11:57 am | Reply

  8. drgilpin: The article is on the main page. It’s the Sept. 9 entry. I apologize for not putting that in my post.

    Comment by mara2009 — September 23, 2008 @ 2:00 pm | Reply

  9. I think it is good that search engines, like Google, are moving away from using only key words to rank a web page within a search. It gets pr companies to focus more on content and making the best web site for their client, rather than just throwing in a few words here and there that are guaranteed to flag the page. When search engines pop up results based on key words the first few sites are often not what you are looking for. If this is the case then someone may get bored before they get to the site you put together for you client. This is why I think content should be the basis for ranking sites within a search.

    Comment by amyfoley1975 — October 7, 2008 @ 9:43 am | Reply


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