Search engine optimization by gaming the algorithms isn’t black hat or white hat, it’s old hat.
Since the first web search engines arrived on the planet, marketers have been trying to figure out how to get to the top of the search engine result pages (SERP).
From Yahoo and AltaVista to Google and Bing, we’ve been trying to figure out their algorithms. What programmatic formula constantly runs in the background deciding what site is listed first, second, and 10,023rd?
For a long time, there were ways of figuring it out the magic. Search engine optimization (SEO) companies made a lot of money helping businesses improve their rankings in the search engines. As Google took over the search engine world, most focused efforts there. Analyze key words and stuff your content with them, have individual pages with titles and URLs matching top search phrases, Page Rank and back-links, “Black Hat” and “White Hat” techniques, social media. And on, and on.
But here’s the thing:
The goal of Google has always been to provide the best experience for the customer (a.k.a., user, reader, site visitor). When a customer does a search on Google, Google wants to make sure the SERP is filled with the best, most relevant results. They want the customer to know that the Google experience will always be the best. Mega numbers of customer’s come back, click on a few sponsored ads, Google makes a lot of money, customers are happy, and advertisers are happy.
So as Google continued to refine the magic behind the algorithm, it actually has become much simpler:
Provide great content. Deliver it with frequency and authority. Make sure that content is relevant and valuable enough to not only please the customer, but please them to the point that they share it with others.
There are certainly a lot of things that need to be done correctly, and there are tools and tutorials to help with all that. If you’re serving the local market, make sure you have all your local online marketing ducks in a row. But it is the value of the content that matters the most – and SEO should become a much more natural process.
So instead of keyword stuffing, use keywords naturally in strong copy writing and blog posting. Write often and share it. Add images and videos where possible, giving even more quality content for customers to find, use, and share.
Give Google what it wants: to give customers (yours and Google’s) what they want.