This might be one of my ground-breaking notes. It will illuminate the reason behind why most SEO strategies might fail and how we should try to stay agile and adapt to ever changing search engine algorithm.
Although, I’m still relatively new to blogging, I believe this one is worth reading, remembering and practicing (disclaimer – valid until Google alter their current algorithm).
This note will cover on
- How Google’s algorithms may affect our SEO strategy; and
- How to identify and solve problems with your website’s SEO.
- Before the roll-out of Google’s Panda algorithm, SEO managers could raise a site’s search rankings by simply creating a lots of keyword-packed pages.
- Panda punishes sites with weak content and rewards sites with high-quality content (defined by Google’s own guidelines).
- Monitor how Google crawls your website, create strong intra-site cross-links and eliminate any indexed content that harms your search ranking.
- Model your initial SEO strategy on those of your successful competitors.
- Approach SEO as a tool for obtaining repeat customers rather than one-time clicks.
Panda Search Algorithm
Google rolled out its Panda search algorithm with new SEO rules in 2011 which means that sites could no longer trick Google into giving a high search ranking by leveraging backlinks or cramming pages full of designated keywords. I tried that, does not work that well for me, maybe you might have relatively better success stories with backlinks and keywords targeting.
Instead, according to Panda search algorithm, sites had to provide good content for users or face penalties.
What content does Google consider “good”? EAT
Rather than relying on your own definition of what good content entails, examine Google’s guidelines. Google provides roughly 150 pages of recommendations which, if followed, will help a site rank highly in the Google search engine.
The core of these recommendations is “expertise, authority and trustworthiness” (EAT).
Sites with these qualities rank well.
A shopping website like Wanelo, for example, demonstrates its EAT by providing high-quality photos, shipping and return information, social proof (press coverage) and customer reviews of products.
“Optimization is only as strong as one’s understanding of the search engine part of the equation. When the rules of search change, so must the strategy.”
In addition to following Google’s guidelines as closely as possible, you should check on a weekly basis how Google crawls your website. If you find Google is looking at pages you don’t want the search engine to index (pages without strong content or duplicate pages), use Google Webmaster Tools to block Google’s access to those pages (or, if they’re a group, the whole directory).
On the other hand, Google will sometimes ignore pages without internal links. You can improve a page’s chances of being crawled by ensuring you link among all the important pages on your site.
“Be aggressive with SEO in the sense that you want to deploy resources to work on it in the first place, but don’t do too much too fast that’s not in your actual strategy.”
(Yummly chief growth officer, Ethan Smith)
Winning SEO Strategy?
The best way for start-ups to find a winning SEO strategy is through research: Ask about, analyze and then model your initial SEO strategy on those of successful competitors.
Businesses must take the correct approach to SEO: Don’t just treat it as a way to get Google users to click through to your site once; think long-term.
Consider how you might get a user to register his or her email, write a review, or download your app. And while you should be pursuing SEO from your business’s inception, don’t hire an SEO expert or team too soon. Wait until you have gained some “traction and traffic” which an expert can build upon.
Then hire someone with a solid SEO track record. Although, in my case, I would prefer to try to learn these by myself. Since blogging is just a hobby of mine.