Internet Marketing News: SEO headlines in recent weeks have centered on content. Adjustments to both Panda and Penguin, Google’s most frequently discussed quality algorithms, dominated search news in the first week of October. Engaging articles and blog posts are the driving force of search marketing, but last week’s developments remind marketers that content presentation matters, too.

Google reiterated its commitment to user-friendly site design on Tuesday. Matt Cutts, the company’s distinguished engineer, announced an update to Google’s page layout algorithm through his Twitter account. According to Cutts, the change impacted about 0.7 percent of search queries. Google first rolled out the algorithm in January to penalize sites with excessive ads above the fold. Brafton reported that page layout and site design are likely measured by the company because they enhance user experience. Even with Panda and Penguin, Google’s motivation is delivering sites and content that satisfy users. Creating a site that allows visitors to quickly locate the content they want demonstrates a brand’s commitment to serving people.

Search trends

Treating Google’s algorithm updates as reminders of best practices for site design and content development can help marketers increase visibility on the web. Driving search position is a gradual process, but patience pays off, as a study from Compete.com illustrates. According to the report, 53 percent of organic search clicks go to sites listed as the top result for a query. The following links receive substantial attention as well, but traffic share decreases farther down the page. For example, the second result garners 15 percent of clicks, the third spot nets 9 percent. Given the amount of search activity occurring every day, results on the lower half of page one and onto page two still perform well. However, consistent content and site improvements that drive a site up search rankings secure measurably more clicks.

Brafton reported that organic search clicks are more rare for sites ranking on the third and fourth pages for certain queries than leading results. A study from AYTM Market Research released in February, found 74 percent of consumers typically don’t last more than three pages in search. Improving site content to warrant higher placement and greater authority is the only recourse for marketers.

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