Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, let’s just get this out of the way, is never done randomly. At the very least, if you want your SEO efforts to produce positive results, you can just hope and pray that you will get it right by simply doing it. This used to be a winning strategy.
In fact, SEO, for the longest time, didn’t really require much of a strategy because it can be done purely through link building. In fact, for the longest time, a lot of online marketers thought that SEO could be reduced to link building. While link building still continues to play a role in search engine optimization, that role is beginning to get smaller and smaller. It seems that with every update of Google’s algorithm, the impact, power, and importance of link building continues to erode.
SEO is not just link building
If I haven’t been clear, let me sum it up: SEO is not just link building. SEO is bigger than link building. In fact, the share or proportion link building activities play in search engine optimization is getting smaller and smaller. Thanks to new technologies that Google employs involving artificial intelligence and machine learning, SEO is going through a very important mutation. Understanding for crucial yet less understood aspects of SEO.
For example, thanks to RankBrain, link building is actually in danger of becoming even less important. If you are aware of Google updates, you should know that RankBrain actually pays attention to how flesh and blood human audiences interact with Google results. Put simply, Google is paying close attention to how people interact with the content that it lists.
Based on this information, it can then make certain judgments as to content quality, content relevance, and overall rank. This is bad news for old time SEOs or marketers who refuse to update their SEO skills. So where do we turn? What does the future hold? Well, the good news is that the answer is both new and old.
The once and future king of SEO: quality content creation
The answer to RankBrain artificial intelligence and Google’s reliance on machine learning is actually an old answer. In fact, Google has always said that if you want to rank high on its index, you just have to produce quality content.
Well, it was anybody’s guess by what Google meant with quality, but now, as its technology continues to evolve, we’re beginning to see a clearer picture of what constitutes quality content. This is why it’s really important to pay more attention or rediscover four crucial aspects of SEO that can go a long way in helping your search optimization efforts produce optimal results.
If you want to rank higher and if you want your rank to persist over the long haul, you have to make sure that you pay close attention to the following four crucial aspects of SEO.
Proper website analysis
The first thing that you need to pay attention to is to look at how your website is put together. When actual traffic is flowing through your website, can people get from one place to the next efficiently and effectively? Also, pay attention to how traffic flow to your website optimizes your SEO.
Are people drilling down in terms of themes? When people go from page to page, does this navigation establish some sort of thematic context in their minds? It’s important to focus like a laser on these questions, because these questions go a long way in ensuring that your website, as a whole, practices maximum RankBrain compliance.
Proper website analysis will clue you in whether there are certain thematic or SEO bottlenecks in the way your site is set up. Sadly, too many websites are simply patched together based on an article by article or page by page strategy. Such old strategies in the world of RankBrain no longer work. Sure, some pages may get more traffic than others, but that’s pretty much the only benefit you’d get and it’s anybody’s guess how long those benefits will last.
Effective on-page optimization
For the longest time, on-page optimization turned on keyword stuffing. The idea was as long as certain keywords appear, then the page is effective. As you probably already know, this is no longer and effective strategy. And thanks to Google’s increasing reliance on machine learning, this is actually going to become more and more penalized.
If you want to practice effective on-page optimization, you need to understand that the proper keyword focus must be all about context setting. You’re not trying to trick Google. You’re not trying to divert traffic that you otherwise are not entitled to. Instead, the focus on using certain keywords is to create themes that clearly communicate context.
Part and parcel of this is the use of keywords for clean navigation. Each page must then be optimized to deepen trust and brand value. This is very important to note. Your main focus should be to ensure trust, deepen that trust, and thereby create maximum brand value.
The importance of correct SEO audit and review procedures
After the launch of Google Penguin, negative SEO went from the realm of theory to reality. There is such a thing as negative SEO. Unfortunately, it’s too easy for any online property to suffer from that negative SEO. And to make matters worse, the people behind such online properties can continue remaining clueless about this fact.
This is exactly the kind of problem you don’t want. Do yourself a big favor and practice correct SEO audit and review procedures on a regular basis. Fix problems before they get bigger. Look at your backlink footprints. Look at your existing positive or high quality backlink footprints and make sure that they themselves are not suffering from negative SEO.
By going the extra mile, you protect your backlink investment to ensure that your website is properly positioned on search engine results so that the quality of your content can make RankBrain work for you, instead of against you.
Content creation and marketing: two SEO peas in a pod
Content creation and marketing used to be pursued on two different tracks. A lot of marketers think that on one end, they’re creating content, and on the other end, they’re engaged in marketing. As Google continues to evolve, one thing is clear. We need to move away from creating content for the sake of content.
Put simply, you need to get out of this two track conception of content creation and marketing. In the age of RankBrain, content IS marketing. By the same token, marketing IS content. What this means is when you create content, you must engineer it in such a way as to maximize its marketing potential.
Similarly, when you’re engaged in any kind of marketing, understand that the relationships you create, as well as the value perceptions you produce, all lead back to the reputation and brand equity tied up in your content. The end result to all of this should not be a surprise. Google’s old CEO Eric Schmidt has said that he future for ranking of Google is branding, branding, branding. If you have a clear of understanding of the four crucial SEO aspects above, your website will remain relevant for a long time to come.