Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process by which a website is recognized by search engines such as Google. In the past, enterprises striving for improved website visibility could unfairly manipulate their rankings by employing a variety of devious tactics. SEO was largely about trying to cram as many title tags, meta-descriptions and keywords as possible into a site in order to lure visitors in.
But now, Google is clamping down, using its finely tuned algorithms to weed out sites that are too high on keywords and too low on readability and useful information. Companies offering SEO services are working hard to keep pace with the changes, shifting their focus towards relevant content, quality links, domain trust, social media and search engine connectivity.
In the past, a domain name loaded with keywords was enough to pull in the punters, but this is a brash tactic that Google is now penalizing. The emphasis now goes much deeper – companies need to focus on brand building and making a name for themselves.
Google values quality content above all else and is intent on stamping out badly written, poorly researched, irrelevant material. Web writing is a dynamic medium and it has never been more important for sites to contain professionally written, pertinent information if they want to see improvements to their rankings and reputations.
2013 sees Author Rank, which allows writers to establish their authority online, assuming a major role in how posts will be ranked. Google assigns a rank to every author based on elements such as niche authority and domain expertise. Authors need to have Google+ profiles and those with the highest ranks will enjoy higher ranking posts.
Google Disavow Tool
Previously the quantity of backlinks on a site meant everything. Google now states that the quality and variety of backlinks is more important. Links deemed to constitute irrelevant spam were out and penalties were in. But there is some mercy for defaulters – the disavow tool gives culprits the chance to clean up their links and bring their sites into line with the latest parameters.
The unprecedented rise of social media is a crucial way of encouraging people to connect with and talk about a brand and share information. It is having more influence on SEO than ever before and is a no-brainer for companies who want their content to go viral, create a buzz about their brand and publicise what they do.
In the early days of SEO, mass article submissions and automated link postings were common strategies used to manipulate search engine rankings. But nowadays, such tactics won’t wash. Manual link building is the only accepted means of building backlinks and content must be relevant and rich enough in information to attract natural backlinks.
The most important thing to bear in mind when understanding the ever-changing world of SEO is the value of a site’s content. High quality, relevant and creative content will always be rewarded. SEO is no longer about bombarding site visitors with keywords, it’s more about including useful links, relevant keywords and improving user experience. Enterprises who can adapt their SEO strategies will maximize their chances of keeping pace in a competitive marketplace.