Discovering your sparkling gems
I truly believe that most people are an untapped resource of beautiful, sparkling gems! Gems of wisdom which if given a chance to shine, could not only help others to grow and succeed, but also serve to develop a confidence in giving voice to our thoughts, intuition and knowledge on the things we're passionate about. All too often we internalise our thoughts, our knowledge, our passions .... we learn, lock them away somewhere to pull on when we need (or maybe never to be seen by the outside world!) .... but by sharing what you know, think and feel with others you are contributing to the development of many!
So how is this relevant to business?
It's widely acknowledged that having a well organised website which is accessible on different types of devices, easy to navigate, and optimised for search engines is important in ranking well in search engines - these are some of the fundamental building blocks that you need to have in place if you want to have your pages rank well in search engines.
It's all about authority
In recent years, however, there has been an increasing focus on understanding the connection between resources all over the web - being able to understand that an author on this website is the same person as an author on another website, who also owns this Twitter account and that Google+ page, allows a search engine to get a better idea of whether someone really knows their stuff, or whether they are less reputable. By adding social networks in the mix, search engines can also understand who you are connected to, and how you interact with people and brands, which opens up a whole new era of machines being able to learn and understand how authoritative a source is. This has been accomplished in several ways, one of which is by using different forms of microdata - ways for computers to understand the context of the resources on a web page rather than just the words or resources present on the page - more on that in other articles.
This means that sharing what you know through online articles, interacting and engaging with others on social media and generally having a presence online - both as a person and as a brand - is becoming an important way of demonstrating your authority and reputation to search engines. It's one of the several pillars that we focus on when preparing a digital marketing strategy with our clients, and often gives very positive results in short time frames which continue giving a long way into the future. With the exception of fixing site-wide SEO problems, it's the best return on investment our clients achieve with their SEO projects by a long way.
Why share your knowledge?
Writing articles which are published online is a way to share your knowledge - your sparkling gems - with the rest of the world. Whether you're writing about the latest advances in technology or a very specific topic which is relevant in your industry, putting it out there online is a way of saying to search 'this is what I know!' while sharing with others information which they may in turn find helpful.
Writing unique content on other sites which are reputable and good quality (ideally those which link back to your main website) is another way of showing you are a reputable and authoritative source of knowledge - especially if those articles are also widely shared.
Engaging with other articles by commenting and sharing them within your social channels, is a way of showing search engines 'this is what I care about!' while reinforcing 'this is what I know' and 'I'm knowledgable on this topic', and again helping others - because the people who follow you on social networks might not have come across those resources before, which could be as helpful to them as they are to you, and your comments might open up different angles of discussion which the author had not considered.
Sparkling gems and reflections
Have you ever noticed how, when you look into a sparkling gem, you see a reflection? Just imagine a web of sparkling gems, each of which reflects each other, a dazzling beauty to behold!
This is my dream - that the web is full of good quality content, that we all share our sparkling gems of knowledge, and in doing so we become a part of - and widen - the beautiful web of sparkling gems, reflecting and being reflected by the beauty of others. By sharing your gems, you become a part of this wonderful, beautiful web of knowledge which is shaping the world in which we live.
Dealing with fake gems
Search engines are helping to keep this beautiful web sparkling by taking out any gems which aren't sparkling - which are fakes or which just don't look natural - with several updates to their algorithms. This means that some websites have seen their content which used to rank really highly disappear, others have found that their entire site has been down-ranked and no longer shows.
The best way to deal with this if you think it's happening to your site (assuming the general SEO on your site is good) is simple. Start sharing your sparkling gems. Write good quality content that people want to read, and don't let it be distracted by advertising, sales tactics or SEO optimisation techniques like keyword stuffing. Don't be tempted to steal content from other sources, or pay people to write on your behalf unless you know that they are a professional copywriter who knows enough about your industry to carry out proper research.
Once your gems are out there dazzling, share them with others! Read what others are talking about in your industry and engage with their posts. Keep your finger on the pulse, and you'll be brimming with ideas for new gems of wisdom you can share! I look forward to seeing your dazzling gems in the beautiful web we weave together!