Google is always updating and altering the algorithm they use to provide quality search results for their users. As a result, SEO practices are continually changing. This doesn’t mean that you’ll need a new web page with each Google update. You can stay ahead of the game by understanding Google’s long-term goals and business model. As Phil Frost of Main Street ROI explained in his recent webinar, by aligning your SEO practices with Google’s long-term goals, you won’t need to re-create your website or SEO content every time Google releases an update.
Google has been about user friendliness since their beginning in 1998. When Google was first released, it quickly rose to prominence because its algorithm was more complex. Essentially, Google didn’t just look at keywords on the page, but it also looked at inbound links to validate websites. This made it harder to trick Google, and users found that Google gave them the useful search results they were looking for, not just spam. Since then, every update Google released has been about improving search results for users and giving those users the most relevant, related, and useful information available online.
In fact, Google’s business model depends on their ability to provide great search results to their users. When people search with Google, they are always presented with Google’s sponsored ads at the top of the page. While you may think that people don’t often click on these Google AdWords, this is completely untrue. In the company’s March 2017 earnings release, Google earned 78% of $36.7 billion from search ad revenues.
So Google gains a lot by attracting the most search engine users, and statistics show that the company does a great job. Eight in 10 people use Google; thus, SEO strategy should be centered around Google’s algorithm and the company’s long-term goal of delivering high quality results to users.
Great SEO is not about tricking Google. Great SEO is about partnering with Google to help users find the most relevant and useful information after a Google search. Website creators need to be considering how to provide the most valuable info for Google users, ensuring that these users find what they need and come back again. With that in mind, the following are important keys based on Google’s current business model.
Google will continue to fight SEO spam so that users won’t get worthless results after a search. Web content that is artificially full of keywords will be seen as irrelevant to search engine users, and will fall lower on the search engine results page.
Having strong, quality inbound links will increase your domain authority. This is because Google doesn’t just look at the number of sites that are backlinked to your site, but they also consider the reputation of those sites. It’s also a good idea to attract rather than buy those links.
As with keyword stuffing, Google sees repetitious pages as pointless, and this can lower your ranking on the search engine results page. Consider the content that you need, then present that content in the most concise, user friendly way.
Google understands that more and more people use their smartphones to search the web, and in order to meet users’ needs Google is moving to a mobile first index. This means that what you have on the mobile version of your site will be more important than the desktop version when it comes to optimization.
Social signals include likes, shares, votes, pins, or views on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Having a lot of shares or likes demonstrates that your company is popular among consumers, which Google recognizes as a trusted recommendation.
Again, Google’s algorithm will always focus on giving consumers the quality information they want, and Google sees social signals as a way to deliver on that promise. No one knows exactly how social media interacts with Google’s ranking, but it’s importance will continue to be a significant component. This is also demonstrated with Google’s release of Google+, a social network that Google will certainly use to rank hits after a search.