There isn’t a day that goes by that Google doesn’t make some change to how they rank websites. Some days, the changes are huge, somedays, the changes are minor.
You can always tell when there’s been a big change because you can almost hear the internet howl in pain.
“Google has ruined me” “My page doesn’t show up in search anymore” “I’ll lose all my customers”
Doubtless, you’ve heard all the whining before. I know I have. In fact, I think they just rehash the same old post every time there is a change. The complaints are always the same – Google has hurt them by changing their search algorithm.
You and I don’t need to whine
You know why? Because we aren’t playing games trying to get ranked high based on weird techniques. We’re just sitting here, writing good blog posts that people like to read and tell their friends about. And that is exactly what Google wants.
SEO is like the weight loss industry
There’s a lot of really good, useful information out there. I’m a big fan of MOZ and I recommend their blogs to anyone interested in learning about SEO. There’s even Google and Bing, both of whom publish some good information for online marketers.
And then there are the charlatans. Promising overnight results with no effort. Here are some tips that I’ve heard (that aren’t true)
- just click on your website 3 times a day from every device you own and you will come to the top of the search rankings
- repeat your keyword as many times as possible in your text
- type your keyword in hidden text on all of your web pages
#1 looks like it works because the search engines make note of what pages you visit and then show them to you when you search for something similar. Yes, it looks like you rank #1, but to someone else in your town just starting a search? You could be on page 35
#2 is called keyword stuffing. The search engines actually measure keyword usage. If the usage is too high, so that the text becomes uncomfortably weird sounding, they will know that you are playing games and actually push you down in search results because they assume you are a spammer.
#3 quit working years ago when the search engines figured out what you were doing. Yes, they know you are trying to be sneaky.
How to remain worry free
Let’s look at what the search engines themselves say:
Create content primarily for your users, not search engines
Designing your site around your visitors’ needs while making sure your site is easily accessible to search engines usually produces positive results
Content is what Bing seeks. By providing clear, deep, easy to find content on your website, we are more likely to index and show your content in search results. Websites that are thin on content, showing mostly ads or affiliate links, or that otherwise redirect visitors away to other sites quickly tend not to rank well. Your content should be easy to navigate, rich and engaging to the visitor, and provide them the information they seek.
SEO is not about gimmicks
No tricks, gimmicks or shortcuts. Just write good content. Blog posts and web pages should be interesting and informative. Or have cat videos. I love cat videos. (just kidding). There are some concrete steps you can take to improve the SEO of your blog posts and pages, but the biggest thing you should concentrate on is writing good content.
What SEO snake oil have you come across?
I’m always curious to hear what ‘too good/weird to be true’ advice has circulated, so let’s hear it. Right there in the Comments section. Or, ask about some advice you’ve received. I’m all ears, or eyes, or whatever works on websites.