Major search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo use reputation and relevancy to match web pages to search queries. Google is known to have 200+ algorithms it uses to rank web pages, but the most important are reputation and relevancy.
Before we get into definitions, let’s start with what Google wants from webmasters. The answer is simple. It wants pages designed for users and not for search engines. In the last year or so, Google has instituted one change after another with the intention of punishing those sites that used link building tactics, low quality guest blogging and other spammy content techniques that contained keywords, but offered little value to the web searcher.
Relevancy is the most valuable search component. It matters to Google for two main reasons:
When a search engine crawls your website, it is indexes the content on each page. It then archives your content in databases for inclusions in what it deems are relevant search terms. What this means to you is you should strive to include not just keywords, but high quality, useful content that includes keywords that will help a web searcher get the information they need.
Instead of stuffing the same phrases repeatedly, which creates unnatural, keyword goofy content, your content should include keywords in natural language. Google looks for variations of keywords to describe the same thing because that is how we communicate. By using variants, you get listed on potential search results for those alternative keywords. Google’s algorithms have enough artificial intelligence to know when copy is created just for a search engine. It will know “oil painting” and “artwork” mean the same thing. It is a terrific idea to use a keyword search tool to learn what other ways your keywords are searched. It can be eye opening to realize there are different ways to get the same information.
As a businessperson, you try to find buyers for your work. You explore and pursue different channels of distribution. You may sell direct, through galleries, online or through social media. To be proficient at marketing your work, it is imperative that it relevant to the audience you have targeted. It is too expensive and overly ineffective to launch advertising and marketing campaigns without narrowing your focus. It is a well-known fact that working in a niche arguably is the best way to maximize your marketing efforts. If your work is not relevant to your target audience, you will fail.
Search engines use reputation to help rank pages. Despite incredible advances in how search engines work, they are not sophisticated enough on their own to rank relevant web pages properly. This is where reputation comes to bear on page rankings. If two sites have equivalent relevant content, Google uses reputation to help determine which is more important, and therefore will rank higher.
If a page on one of the websites has ten links on it, but most are from other sites with higher page rankings, then it will be treated as more important to the search engine and earn higher page rankings as a result. If the other site has 20 links from family members, non-related businesses and low ranking sites, it will find itself ranked far below a competitive site that has superb content and quality links.
The most successful artists tremendously boost their sales because of who they are. In my post on selling art, last week, I talked about branding. In that post, I gave examples of how certain songs would not become massive hits were they recorded by less highly regarded acts. Your reputation helps galleries sell your work. It helps online buyers feel comfortable making an electronic purchase from thousands of miles away.
As you carefully cultivate your reputation, you will find it helps you attract buyers. It will help you receive unsolicited referrals. Links to your website will be part of what happens as your reputation increases and improves. Just as relevancy is a byproduct of creating outstanding content, reputation is a byproduct of how you manage your business and your life.
There are no shortcut hacks to building reputation and relevancy in your online or in your offline life. Certainly, there is much more to do to enjoy success with all aspects of your art career and your art marketing efforts, including SEO.
Seek to make the best art you can make, to do the best marketing you can, and to be as impeccable as possible in all that you do, and positive profitable results will happen naturally for you.
As with art, itself, online galleries come in many different varieties. Some serve the originals market, some serve as an adjunct to physical galleries, others offer complete print-on-demand services, including framing and shipping fulfillment. Running the gamut from Saatchionline.com to Etsy.com, with Amazon, eBay and now, Google, jumping in the mix, there is much to think about for artists seeking to sell art online.