A lot of people spend a lot of money on SEO – or search engine optimization – in an attempt to improve their ranking on Google and other search engines. But over the years, the likes of Google have been increasingly taking a negative view of this kind of search engine manipulation – and if they catch you doing something fishy, they are likely to blow your site out of the water.
Why? Well, like all businesses, Google has customers to impress. That’s me, you, and pretty much everyone you know that uses Google as their preferred search engine. Ultimately, they want to provide relevant search results for their users, not some site trying to spam everyone with useless, cheap content.
With this in mind, it’s vital that you understand what Google is looking for – and what it rewards. So, instead of investing a bunch of cash in the latest SEO scam, recognize the fact that shortcuts will end up being a long road to success, and take on the following ideas instead.
The cornerstone of your search engine presence is content – but not just any content. It has to be relevant to the products you sell or the services you provide if you want to achieve success. And in general terms, the more niche, the better. If you create high-quality, in-depth content that people actually read, it will improve your relevance to the search engines, and ultimately your online authority. Does it take a lot of work and time? Sure. But quality counts.
A working website
There are almost two billion websites on the Internet – almost one for every three people on the planet. But many of these sites are what is technically known as ‘dead as a dodo’ – unused, sitting around, and clogging up space. Naturally, Google doesn’t want to give links to these websites to its customers, so the company is on a consistent mission of clearing up,. The only way they can do this is to seek out websites that are no longer updated, and relegate them to low rankings. And let’s be clear – the search engine giant can be pretty quick on its feet when it comes to identifying websites that are not current. The takeaway? Don’t allow your site to drift – update it on a regular basis, and add content often.
The technical basics
Is your site SEO friendly? If not, you won’t rank well – it’s that simple. Now, this post isn’t long enough to go through all the gory details, but there is plenty of guides online. As discussed over at Google Ranker, it’s essential to get the basics right first. So, learn how to distinguish your metadata from your alt tags and get everything in place the way Google likes it.
Finally, Google has a love-hate relationship with links. No. Google has a love relationship with links to your site. On the one hand, other sites linking to your website is a great way to determine how much authority, knowledge and value you are giving. But on the other hand, lots of people try and cheat the system. So, when it comes to getting links, be honest. Put the work in, build relationships, and offer value – it will be much better for your site’s rankings in the long-term. Google and other search engines need sites pointing to your site to even discover about you. On the search engines eyes, if nobody is ‘indicating’ you, if nobody is talking about your site, if no website has a single link or enough links to your property, then your content is probably not worth it. That’s just the SEO truth.