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Cutting corners online never pays off

Cutting corners online never pays off

‚ÄčOne thing you learn when you work in the world of web is to move with the times. That can be changes in technology, customer behavior or the behaviour of the industry.

However I’ve also learned to make my own decisions about which changes to follow or how quickly to follow them.

All the changes Google has made over the last few years have really been with the end goal of providing better results for searches, and this has resulted in companies being forced to provide an improved online experience for customers. By adding this customer experience focus on top of traditional SEO it is now much harder to cheat your way to the top. You are now forced to generate engaging and original content.

The most noticeable recent ‘new thing’ is for businesses to subcontract social media management to third party agencies. These agencies generate lots of content which is posted at high frequency. They do this to raise awareness of the brand. Naturally there isn’t enough happening for most businesses to say something every day so the agency hunts out relevant content from various sources. Sometimes the content is created by the client, but often it’s something to engage - perhaps something funny, or interesting to engage on a human level.

I’ve also recently seen cases of companies farming the personal data of people who have responded to social media activity and feeding it into marketing campaigns.

The thing that I’m pondering at the moment is does this type of content actually develop a brand. And also is what is happening at the moment effectively abusing what is a social medium. Given the way Google changed its algorithm over the years to counteract cheating, would this social sub-contracting become the next issue to get algorithm attention?

I recently had a chat to some 20 year olds who are the future consumers.  Their response to my question was interesting. Firstly they were fully aware of when they were being marketed at - and because we are talking about social platforms they reacted negatively to it.  Their method of response was to deselect this content.

Actually I rather liked their attitude.  Unpolluted by politics or any agendas, their decision was straight forward. If I don’t trust it I don’t want to see it.

If I have learned anything about the web its that cheating or cutting corners never pays off in the long run. The best strategy is to be fascinated by what you do and to talk about it with genuine interest. I fear that anything else just won’t do. 

Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2015 16:13:56 +0100

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