The Ignored Truth About SEO
Search Engine Optimization is an industry clouded in mystery and intrigue; ask 100 SEO professionals about PageRank, Link Juice, Link Bait, Panda, or keyword frequency and you’ll likely get 100 different answers. Google and the other search engines closely guard their formulas for getting search rank, yet every SEO shop claims to know the secret formula to get your business on the first page of results.
(Psst..We really found it... You have to stand on one foot and pat your head when you click the submit button for your new post.)
The Ignored Truth
So what is the truth about SEO? Google clearly and consistently has published the answers:
1. Make your site easy for search engines and humans to navigate.
No magic bullets here, but be sure to read through these recommendations and follow along on your site. This is all about structuring your site where things can be found easily. Then adding a few small elements such as meta tags to point out to the search engines what information is important.
2. Create useful and relevant content.
“Search engines want to return great content. If you make such a fantastic site that all the web has heard of you, search engines should normally reflect that fact and return your site. A lot of bad SEO happens because people say, I’ll force my way to the top of Google first, and then everyone will find out about my site. Putting rankings before the creation of a great site is in many ways putting the cart before the horse. … By chasing a great user experience above search rankings, many sites turn out to be what search engines would want to return anyway.” - Matt Cutts, Google
The problem comes because we, publishers and SEOs, don’t like this answer — so we try and cheat the system. This has lead to a war between Google and content publishers.
Google is trying to display the most relevant results, and publishers want their results at the top. Every time content publishers discover a loophole to beat the system, Google adjusts the algorithm to close the hole, and the game begins again.
What tends to happen with all of those loopholes, though, is that publishers and SEOs continue to talk about them as if they are still open for years after they are closed. This leads to so much misinformation that it’s easy to waste a lot of time performing SEO functions with little to no effect. For example, many SEOs are still crowing about meta keywords, when Google has clearly stated that they ignore those.
Following Google’s advice takes time, dedication, and long-term commitment, but the alternative is to waste a lot of time chasing loopholes that have likely already been closed by Google.
My recommendation is to start today creating great content, then work on making your site easily navigable by people and the search engines. If you need assistance with either of these tasks, we’d be happy to help.
Start With A Free Website Analysis
Part of our free website analysis is to make sure your site has checked all the boxes in the Google recommendations so that it is easy for the search engines to navigate your site. We will also review your content strategy to show you where it is lacking when it comes to creating interesting content.