In this article I try to cover the changes that happened to SEO recently and how it affects app developers.
Short version: SEM is dead. Cultivate a follower ship that likes your products and recommends them to their friends.
What’s SEO? What’s SEM?
SEO is Search Engine Optimization. It means that websites are optimized so they look good to humans in order for them to find the information they were searching for quickly. Here’s a short E-book by Google on SEO.
SEM is Search Engine Manipulation. In the old days of SEO/SEM these terms were used almost interchangeably. People were talking about SEO, changing a website so information can be found easily, but what they really meant was SEM, tricking Google into thinking a page is more relevant, when in fact it’s not.
Panda was one of the recent changes Google made to its search engine algorithm. Google mainly changed how relevant content gets ranked. They shift away from link recommendations to personal recommendations, such as those on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+.1
What does this mean for app developers?
It means quite a lot. Developers can’t build automated satellite blogs to get higher rankings anymore. (at least on Google) They can’t hide from their customers. Followers are what make a product get a higher ranking. If there is content people like on Facebook, the app ranks higher. Therefore developers have to make content people like. (Or speaking in buzzwords: engage their followers)
If you want to get recommendations, there’s no “inside the App Store”, personal recommendations happen outside.
Google’s role in this game
Goolge is the worlds biggest search engine. This makes them quite an authority. They show people what they
need should know. The problem with their role as biggest search provider is that they want everyone to use their own products. Their own product in social media is Goolge+, so recommendations their are slightly more important than those of their competitors. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be on Twitter and Facebook as well.
The question here is: Can you handle Facebook and Google and Twitter and Pinterest and Foursquare and Yelp and DailyBooth and YouTube and and and? The list goes on.
Decide which social media sites you want to take action in and try to create like-able content there. Not everywhere, but somewhere.
- I read this in a German article, but moving my reading later service from Readability back to Instapaper made some articles go missing. ↩