Google announced yesterday on their blog the completion of a new web indexing system called Caffeine. Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than their last index, and it’s the largest collection of web content Google has offered. News story, blogs, forum posts will now play an even more important role in search results.
What does this mean for small business? In essence, a lot because from now on you’ll need to find ways in which to show up in “real time” search results. Google will be weighting real time search characteristics more so than static web pages. It’s not enough to just have a website anymore.
It’s all about content. The kind of content fueled by social media. Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, Flickr, Digg, Stumble Upon, Foursquare, Gowalla and Yelp (to name some of the bigger ones) are the platforms du jour. Small businesses need to start (if you’re not already) creating content that shows up on sites like these in order to rank high with Google.
A number of people are starting to catch on to this idea that companies need to publish content relevant to their industry. Here’s an even better way of looking at it. You need to produce content that your customer deems relevant. For some organizations the thought of providing information for free is a frightening thing, however, you have to put out some form of content deemed valuable. Otherwise, you’ll find your company start to slip in the search rankings.
Start publishing content primarily and think of sales as secondary. Done properly, the latter will follow.