Businesses must constantly evaluate the ROI of their marketing campaigns. In recent years, reports have indicated that blogs have fallen out of favor while investment in social media has soared. Analysts also suggest that search could be under pressure from social media sites. But at least one search provider, Google, is tweaking the way search works and the company’s new offerings may have marketers rethinking the ROI of blogs and content marketing, especially when it comes to authorship and publisher markup — or structured data.
Google has long struggled with the best way to rank content. The company is now using “structured” data to give higher rankings to certain kinds of content. The company’s CEO Eric Schmidt, in a recently published book, says “within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.” This is personalization in a whole new way for Google and perhaps a strategy to combat the popularity of Facebook and social media.
Marketers can create Google+ Business Pages to enhance the kind of information that users will see during an online search. Another strategy is for marketers to align themselves with individual writers who have established themselves as authors using Google+ Profile. Writers who set this up properly can get their articles shown at the top of search lists, complete with a picture. As a result, the content they’re writing about, especially if it highlights a brand or marketer, also goes to the top of a list.
Dennis Brandon, at buuteeq.com, explains the details of how to make the changes on company web pages. Marketers who want to stay at the leading edge of what’s new in SEO are likely already checking out these features and tweaking their websites and Google accounts. The technology gives them one more way to stay in front of potential customers online.[Sources: Griffith, Erin. How Goggle Author Rank could change content marketing. Pandodaily.com. 7 Jan. 2013. Web. 15 Feb. 2013; Authorship. Google.com. 2013; Arnesen Mike. AuthorRank for Brands. Swellpath.com. 24 Jan. 2013. Web. 15 Feb. 2013; Dennis, Brandon. Google’s Authorship Markup – author vs. Publisher. Buuteeq.com. 7 Feb. 2013. Web. 15 Feb. 2013]