Google “Owl” Keeps An Eye On Your Content

by Stephanie on June 16, 2017

cwhiteharp / Pixabay picture of an owl

cwhiteharp / Pixabay

On the 25th of April, Google issued a change to its search algorithms called “Project Owl.”  This change was Google’s answer to fake news and to offensive suggestions in autocomplete.  Google frequently changes its algorithms, as I explained in my post Search Engine Optimization.  This is one more change to follow when writing content for your website.

Owl essentially did three things:

  1. Added a report form for users to report inappropriate autocomplete results when searching.  One example of this type of problem is when some one types “Did the Holocaust” and the auto completion offers several Holocaust denial websites. Clicking on the report form allows people to report these offensive auto completions by clicking on one of several items:  hateful, sexually expressive, violent or includes dangerous or harmful activity, or other.  There is a place to make comments, too.  No one report will trigger the removal of an auto complete item, but if something gets a lot of reports it will get the attention of Google and will be dealt with in the next update.  The exception is if something is so offensive it receives a large volume of reports over a short time.  This will prompt a human to look at the content and possibly remove it.
  2. The same report form appears at the bottom of the snippet Google displays.  This snippet is the first part of someone’s post and may be offensive or just unhelpful.  Now you have a way to tell Google about the problem.
  3. The final change is to search rankings.  In the past, Google ranked a site partially on how popular it was.  However, a site can be popular and wrong.  It can also have its popularity manipulated by having people pick it in a deliberate attempt to make it popular enough to send it higher in the rankings.  Google is now going to rank quality over popularity.  Websites with more authority will be ranked over websites that are popular but are not correct in their information.

How will this effect your search engine ranking?  As long as your content is useful and the information it contains is correct, it should not effect your web rankings in a negative way.  Google has stated that the new search algorithms will not count the age of the web page or the size of the website.  They will only judge each page on its own merit.  If you continue to produce authoritative content , you may be able to jump up quite a lot in the search rankings.

Authoritative content can be hard to produce.  It takes research, the ability to write well, and an understanding of your subject.  You may not have time to write such content.  However, I specialize in writing authoritative content for the many marketing channels a business needs to be on.  I offer a free consultation to show you how I can help you turn readers into leads.  Give me a call at (903) 268-9622 (Central time) or send me an email at and we can talk about what you need.  I look forward to working with you.






Newsletters Keep Your Leads Warm

by Stephanie on December 22, 2016

picture of newsletters

geralt / Pixabay

Sending a newsletter to your mailing list helps up sell your customers. A newsletter every month or every week will remind your customers of what you can provide for them.  When they are ready to buy that product or service, your name will immediately come to mind.  Most newsletters are emailed and run no more than four pages.  Two pages is a good length because it is long enough to include some interesting articles.  It is not long enough for the customer to lose interest in what you are saying.

Newsletters should be at least 80% interesting content and no more than 20% selling your product or services.  Customers should be interested in what you have to tell them and eager to open that email to find out what you will discuss that issue.  Otherwise it becomes the email equivalent of junk mail and ends up being deleted.

What kind of interesting content?

  • a calendar of things to be done in the garden at this time of year
  • new plants that have been developed for the coming year
  • the answers to common customer questions
  • a column that discusses one plant at length and how to use it in the landscape
  • any new honers that you and your business have received
  • a short article on one of your employees and what they do to make sure your customers have the best plants available for their customers.

I could go one at length but you get the idea.  Newsletters can be about anything that keeps your customer interested and informed.  You want them to think of you when they need something to use for a customer’s landscape.  The newsletter may make the difference between you getting an order for plants or that order going to that other nursery.

It is easy for a newsletter to fall through the cracks, especially when you are in your busiest season.  This is where a freelance copywriter is so useful.  In a meeting once a quarter, you and your copywriter can develop an editorial calendar that lists the topics to be covered for that quarter.  Once the editorial calendar is set up, the copywriter takes over and puts together each newsletter with the right topics for that time of year.  At the bottom of the newsletter, you can have text insert ads for your current specials.  Two or three of these per newsletter helps your sales but doesn’t negatively effect the customer’s interest in your newsletter.  When the copywriter has your newsletter ready, you can check it over, approve it, and then send it to all your customers.

I offer a variety of options on newsletters, from setting them up in the mailing server you use to writing them as well as writing the insert ads for the newsletter that issue.  If you are interested in working with me, please email me at or call me at (903) 268-9622 (central time).  There is no charge for the initial conversation on what you need and how I can provide it.








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