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Google continually revises and updates the algorithms it uses to generate search engine results as a way to ensure users receive only the best responses to their queries. In many cases, these updates have changed small- and medium-sized businesses’ approaches to search engine optimization. The most-talked about algorithm, Penguin, penalizes websites that use spammy link schemes (paying other, less-reputable sites to generate links that falsely inflate a page’s reputation so it ranks higher in search engine results pages).

ContentLEAD reported that Penguin is vigilant in its search for websites that use unfair linking practices, and a study by Portent reported that the algorithm is getting stronger. With a significant Penguin update still on the horizon, small and large businesses must rely on other SEO strategies to win top search rank positions. The findings from a Custom Content Council study suggest more companies are instead creating website content that earns clicks and generates links organically.

Companies spent 9.2 percent more on custom content in 2013, according to the survey. In 2012, businesses budgeted $40.2 billion for tailored print, electronic and social media content, but increased that total to $43.9 billion in 2013.

Business owners update their social media accounts four times each week and refresh their websites more than three times per week.

On top of additional content spend, SMBs are also taking steps to ensure their online presences are updated with timely information. On average, business owners update their social media accounts four times each week and refresh their websites more than three times per week.

 Small business owners may not have the time or resources to create blog or news articles on a regular basis, even though they know it offers SEO value. Many SMBs partner with content marketing companies that have the SEO expertise and writing skills to generate custom content that naturally boosts search engine rankings.