The effort to get to page one includes a myriad of optimizations to content, media, website page structure, linking – the list is very long indeed. Standard optimization using regular and well-known methods includes adding keywords and tags and using social media to popularize the site. In days gone by a whole list of tactics used by “optimizers” brought instant results many were very impressive – page one for any keyword in a week etc. were common claims and still are to be found in the recesses of the Internet. These optimizations either did not last long or, more frequently, caused the site to be hit hard when Google came around to upping the ante by filtering out the spammers and SEO gamers in their more recent updates. Google is very specific about what it is they do and do not like.
We discuss Google mainly because their search engine is where over 80% of the world’s searches are serviced from. If you are not in Google, you are nowhere. Even more pertinent is that you have to be on page one in the search results to get any traffic of note. This is where optimization begins, where website owners start to recover their investments and online business thrives. Lower than page one and you may as well be trading from a beach hut on Easter Island with no Internet.
Come Back for More
Take note that Google wants you to keep coming back for more so they are constantly adding new avenues of opportunity and innovative services. This is part of the reason they stay at number one in the search engine world – they promise to strive to offer value and keep improving on that promise. In the same way, they want you to do the same with your website by offering value to the traffic they bring. Be under no misconception – you don’t have the right to Google traffic; Google is your primary customer that comes before the people who use their engine. You are offering a product to Google – your website. In return, they are serving your product on to their users.
What does Google want from You?
To begin with you need to know what Google does like. Google is now taking into consideration social media, shares, social signals, bookmarking and other social networking interactions that create a measurable trail of activity. Backlinks and the traffic that traverses them are also measurable components that Google uses to choose the top results. Last years’ Panda update paid specific attention to site with an unnatural number or type of backlink. Those with 75,000 dubious backlinks from forums and comments were considered to be “gaming” the system. It transpires that the only valuable backlinks now are from sites with relevant content and those with some authority (such as a PageRank 3 or above). The habit of placing large numbers of keywords in text has also caught their attention as has content spinning and fake reviewing. This leaves little in the armory of the less desirable SEO companies but nevertheless, you will be sold these techniques as valid SEO practices and exploited until you realize your error. In reality, those will get your site banned or sandboxed by big G who has the ability to simply make you disappear never to be seen again. Some site owners hit by the Panda update simply started from scratch rather than try and repair their SEO damage. Welcome to the Easter Island Trading Co.
This is a very important point when looking for SEO companies. The regular changes to the algorithms at Google now means that to get ranked, you are basically going to have to do what they ask:
- Provide quality content
- Only make relevant links
- Update your site frequently
- Become popular in social media as well as simply performing in search
- Optimize your site and content according to the published quality guidelines [link here]
Google is a business. Google wants to serve the best results, with little to no error. Google wants to solve your issue and present you with information that will best service your needs.
Take note that Google wants you to keep coming back for more so they are constantly adding new avenues of opportunity and innovative services. This is part of the reason they stay at number one in the search engine world – they offer value. In the same way, they want you to do the same with your website by offering value to the traffic they bring. Be under no misconception – you don’t have the right to Google traffic; they are your primary customers before the people who use their engine. You are offering a product to Google: your website. In return, they are serving your product to their users.
The only way to make a long-term impact is to cater to the needs of your customer. This means that successful optimization must conform to the framework that Google has laid out in their quality guidelines. Also be clear about different processes – driving traffic and optimizing for search. Many SEO companies will blur the line between these activities.
Google wants Quality
Quality is not simply in the gloss sofa well-honed website landing page. This is quality for the user. Sites should be optimized on-site and off-site in organic ways rather than relying on contrived methods such as paid links or article syndication that simply copies the same article to thousands of low value locations. Quality involves updating the content with useful media and links; maintaining a constant input of backlinks that are from respectable sources and updated regularly.
A single blog posting on that provides unique and engaging content with a single link is far more powerful in terms of SEO than a 1000 backlinks from forums and spam comments – which are now actually damaging for a site. Social media campaigns offer a huge opportunity. SEO providers that can offer these services are relative newcomers. The old tactics of mass linking and paid SEO efforts that are patently of little user value are still touted and sold heavily. Next time you look for an SEO provider, look to see what they profess they can do. Google has got a lot smarter of late – those making money online through SEO whether providers or consumers had better pay attention. Content and quality are the new rulers of the search engines and surprisingly as algorithms become more complex, SEO has seemingly become more simple. The reality is that SEO remains a moving target. Look out for Penguin 2.0 – thats due to be rolled out soon by all accounts.