Dan Janal, president of PR LEADSGoogle is cracking down on press releases – and that’s a good thing!

Google wants to present information that people are searching for. That’s their mission. They want to do everything they can to prevent people from manipulating their results. That’s good news for people who are actively searching for your products and services.

Google’s mantra is “If you can manipulate the data, we won’t value that data.” In other words, in the past, you could manipulate Google by stuffing keywords, using title tags and so on. None of that works well any more.

Google looks mainly to see that the material is written as pure content that is designed to help readers. In other words, if you are looking for a book on how to solve a problem, you are very likely to find books in that genre. You won’t find infomercials showing you how to get rich – or poor – fast. That’s good for everyone.

The bottom line is that when you write press releases, blog posts, articles or produce videos, you need to offer real content that people find valuable – that can mean information or entertainment. If you do that, Google will look kindly on your content.

I still believe you need to add a few keywords to help Google clearly identify you. So I think it is okay to add keywords like “author, speaker, consultant,” and state which industry you work in or focus on (such as health care, manufacturing, mid-market companies, etc.). Without that information, Google wouldn’t know how to display your content. Just don’t repeat the same information. That will get you into trouble.

You can have links to material that helps readers learn more about your services. And you can include calls to action for people to buy your products or schedule an appointment.

I’d also suggest you place those keywords high in the story – in the headline and first paragraph. That way Google knows it is important. If you put that info in the middle or the end, Google might think you don’t consider it important – and if you don’t, why should Google?

Another important thing to remember is that there is no “front page of Google” any longer. That’s because everyone sees a different set of results when they search. That’s because Google knows who you are and what you are looking for. They read that information and take it into account when they display results. For example, if you are looking for a doctor, they are likely to show you a list of doctors in your local area. They know where you live! They know you don’t want to see every doctor in the United States, only the ones close to you. That’s a win-win solution for everyone. And it means that everyone sees something different.

What tips do you have for working effectively with Google?