According to Laura Lippay, the Director of Technical Marketing at Yahoo, that is exactly how you outrank your competitors. In a video interview (you can see the video at Web Pro News), Laura admitted that title tags, in bound links, meta tags, and keywords were all important elements, however, having a great product was more important.
Of course it all depends on what you define as a ‘product’. Content, in the form of blog posts, videos, or informative pages on web sites could be defined as products. After all, they are published for users even if there is no ’selling’ (as in an exchange of product for money) involved.
Laura’s take on the subject included:
To create a strategy, first determine what you could build into your product that would make you outrank your competitors. This type of strategy includes aspects such as social media, creating a buzz, getting links, and more.
An assumption can be drawn from this that really the product is not important – it is the perception surrounding the product that is important. This is what social marketing is all about, building a perception that your product and your business is better than your competitors.
Of course, product is important. If your product fails to live up to the hype you generate then you will certainly come of the worse in the long run. However, what I take from this interview is not so much the importance of the product, but that search engines are starting to take a lot of interest in what is happening in the world of social media.
A good social marketing campaign can do wonders for your image and over time add to many of the older factors used to determine rankings. These include in bound links and traffic flowing to your site with low bounce rate numbers.
Yes, you do need a good product, but more importantly, you need a good social marketing campaign that is designed to promote that product in the right places. It is the social marketing campaign that will help you to outrank your competitors, not the necessarily the product on its own. There are few products that sell themselves – you have to sell the benefits and social marketing is one avenue you should consider – many others are with great success.