Recently, Phil Frost of Main Street ROI, joined Convirza to pinpoint widely used but old-fashioned approaches to SEO.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the activity of getting organic or free search results on search engines. No one knows exactly how different search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, assign value to a website or page. So SEO is the disciplined attempt to uncover and implement the best approach and processes to ensure high website and page rankings in search results.
For those who would like a little more explanation, Search Engine Land has a great video about basic SEO: What Is Search Engine Optimization
More than 20 years ago, when the internet was just getting started, AltaVista was the most popular search engine. Ranking well on AltaVista was easy; a website simply used their keyword more often on a page than anyone else. It was also easy to produce spam and inject unwanted information into search results.
Several years later, Google entered the market and started using an algorithm that was based not only on page content and context but also on inbound links to validate websites. The premise was, if people valued your website and it’s information, they would link to that web content. Soon people came to perceive Google as the best, most-trusted search engine. This happened at least partially if not largely because of Google’s more useful and less spammy search results.
Google works very hard to provide the best search results and hires some of the brightest people. Over the years, their algorithm has evolved as they released many major updates including Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird to name a few. With each update, Google rewrites their playbook and SEO specialists race to modify their strategies.
Panda – assign lower ranking to “low-quality” websites. In other words, sites that provide bad user experiences because of low quality, poorly written content, or bad navigation move to the bottom of search results.
Penguin – remove “over-optimized” websites that didn’t deserve high rankings. In an effort to boost SEO, companies would buy multiple website domains and then create websites with a blog or two that linked back to the main website. Google released the Penguin update to stop this practice and ensure good user experiences.
Hummingbird – adapts Google’s algorithm to manage smartphone searches and voice recognition applications. These major updates now comprise the new playbook for optimizing websites. If you want to rank well on Google queries make sure you follow the new rules and drop outdated practices.
No Over-Optimizing Web Pages (See the Panda update)
Do Not Create Your Own Links
Ditch Unnecessary “SEO” Web Pages (See the Hummingbird update)
Now you have a better idea of what to do and what not to do. Take some time and ensure your website isn’t following old school tactics. And watch for our next blog to learn two SEO techniques that improve your rankings in 30 days or less.