From Google ranking factors to Twitter’s new character count – content marketing trends

Gary Illyes confirms there are no three set Google ranking factors

For some time now, a group of mistaken folks had believed they’d stumbled on the holy grail of content marketing: three universal Google ranking factors.Google Ranking Factors

In case you’re yet to be initiated, Google ranking factors are a set of rules that determine how well content will perform in the SERPs.

However, in a series of fleeting Twitter exchanges, Google’s Gary Illyes and John Mueller put this myth to rest once and for all.

Here are the words straight from the horse’s mouth:

Using the same three Google ranking factors universally would ultimately prevent the user from receiving the most relevant results for his or her search query.

In addition, many pages are so new (or niche) that they’re yet to be linked to, but could still prove the best option for returning the result that’s the closest fit with the user’s intentions.

These responses imply that content marketers should ditch the “short-term thinking” and stop attempting to ‘play’ Google. Instead, they should focus on producing “awesome” content that’s super-relevant to their target audience’s typical intentions.

Content marketers think their efforts are steadily improving

63% of content marketers believe their organisation’s efforts are more successful than they were one year ago. This is according to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

That’s one of the most notable stats to emerge from the latest edition of ‘B2B Content Marketing 2018: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America‘.

This represents a minor improvement on the 2017 edition, suggesting content marketers increasingly feel like they’re moving in the right direction.

While this insight might give you a warm, fuzzy feeling, it doesn’t offer much about what’s driving these improvements. But, dig a little deeper and you’ll find out.

‘Successful’ respondents had these content marketing elements in common:

  • A documented content marketing strategy
  • ‘Sophisticated’ or ‘mature’ content marketing processes
  • A significant commitment to content marketing
  • A realistic perspective of content marketing potential
  • Ample time dedicated to content marketing by management
  • Consistent delivery deadlines and schedules

So, now you know what puts the best above the rest, you can re-evaluate your content strategy and join the majority who believe their efforts are seeing results.

Spotted in the news…

At the end of September, Twitter doubled its maximum character count per post from 140 to 280, in a bid to help users “express themselves” (or stimulate the company’s flagging growth).

The Twitterati have offered up mixed reviews on this manoeuvre. Some perceive it as an attempt to address the more frustrating aspects of the platform. Others bemoan the loss of brevity that comes with restricting a Tweet to just a handful of words.

In truth, only time will tell whether this shake-up will have the desired effect. However, it’s certainly worth revisiting your social media strategy to take advantage of this change ahead of your competitors.