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Convergence of e-Commerce & Publishing Update the Rules of the SEO Game

Let’s face it: across the advertising and marketing board, advertising space simply isn’t worth what it used to be in this day and age. Not only are advertisements more expensive to shop for in the world of ‘old media’, such as television and the printed press, but, it seems that, by all accounts, they are much less effective in guaranteeing that the ‘advertisee’ will be getting their money’s worth. In other words, ads are now tougher to sell than ever – and if you thought the situation is any different when it comes to digital ad space, then the latest developments in the industry will prove you wrong.

Rules of the SEO Game

When it comes to advertising on online platforms, it seems that Google’s latest updates, Panda included, are all pointing to one and the same reality. On the one hand, publishing platforms are being faced with the need to promote e-commerce offers. On the other, e-commerce platforms are now being faced with the consequences of the latest Google algorithm updates regarding the quality of the content on their pages. Many pages on commercial websites are insubstantial when it comes to content, which, on first glance, makes the marriage of publishers and e-commerce shops one that was made in heaven.

One of the most self-evident consequences of this merger between two types of website, which had been previously seen as incompatible, is that the world of internet content seems to be headed toward more compactness. With the lines between selling products and publishing content becoming increasingly blurry, it only makes sense that it would also come to affect the SEO industry and the considerations according to which its principles are implemented. Here are three aspects to bear in mind, both for publishers that create content for commercial websites, as well as for e-commerce platforms choosing topromote themselves via publishing websites.

  • Publishers need to figure out a smart way to integrate commercial content on their subdomains or into their subdirectories. This is because such a measure can instantly translate into a large volume of pages weak in content. And this, in turn, will obviously mean weakening the overall quality of the publishing website. As a matter of fact, this would be a surefire way to render a previously solid site, with quality content, as an upcoming  candidate on Google’s SERP demotion page.
  • Affiliate Management is also something that needs to be properly handled. While their presence will most likely not help the publishing platform from a SEO perspective, there certainly exist good and bad ways of inserting affiliate links within written content, be that content an article, a guide, a ‘how-to’ list, or anything else of the sort.

Whether a publishing site starts directly promoting an e-commerce platform, or it implements a similar campaign via affiliation, it’s important that this does not translate as a negative in the eyes of the search engines’ algorithms. In other words, it is very important that the brands promoted are trustworthy, so that users don’t perceive the promotional activities as detrimental to the overall quality of the content on the website. Once that’s taken care of, chances are the search engines will follow in tow.

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