I don’t know how informed you are about SEO, but I’m sure that most people reading this article are under the impression that On Page and Off Page SEO are completely separate. Almost all SEO courses teach us that first we have to do our on-page optimization, and then we have to do our off-page optimization. In actuality, these two are connected. In order to explain to you how this works, let me first tell you a little bit about how Google works.
What is Google balance
Don’t search for this term—you probably won’t find it anywhere. Think about this: What does Google actually want to show us in the top 10 search results? Of course, it wants to show the best results on the web—the most interesting, informative, and important information. In other words, it wants everyone to find what he/she is looking for easily and quickly. If Google achieves that goal, the result would be 100% Google balance. Of course 100% is impossible, but Google employees work every single day to make their algorithm better.
Now, what do we want?
All of us in the SEO game want better ranking for our sites, and we’re all looking for different ways to manipulate the Google algorithm.
So here’s how the Google algorithm actually works
Here’s what Google actually does—it tries to determine the external behavior of the whole Internet by looking at one good site. In other words, it tries to analyze how people “react” to one quality website that’s informative and interesting. The focus is mainly on analyzing the site’s backlinks because Google believes that if a site is high quality, it will have more backlinks. Of course, it also analyzes additional criteria like user behavior, social signals, and so on.
Now, let me tell you how your on-page optimization actually affects your off-page optimization and why we have to think about SEO as a whole, not as unconnected parts.
To help you understand what I mean, I’ll give you two examples:
An SEO expert creates a low quality site and tries to predict the Google algorithm. He read a lot of ebooks, forum posts, blog articles, etc., and he starts to get links to his low quality site.
Someone who doesn’t know too much about SEO creates a great site with great content. He doesn’t spend too much time on SEO.
No matter how good the SEO expert in example 1 is—even if Google rank his site for a while, early or not—his site will be dropped. In example 2, even if the site won’t get ranked too fast, the site will eventually rank because—even if that person doesn’t understand SEO—he created quality content. Google will see that based on external ranking factors that will happen even without that person knowing.
That’s actually how your on-page optimization affects your off-page optimization. By creating valuable content for your visitors, you will get “reactions” from people, and Google will see that. No matter how good the SEO expert in Example 1 is, there will always be factors that he doesn’t know about as well as factors that can’t be manipulated.
Let’s analyze the main factors that Google considers
1. The backlinks. If you create quality content, people will start linking to you, and it will happen 100% naturally. Some SEO experts try to think of ways to get links artificially, and some of them actually succeed. They use a lot of tricks, such as diversifying anchor text, controlling the number of links per day, changing the types of links, and so on. I can’t say that these techniques don’t work because there are a lot of sites in the top 10 that have generated links artificially; however, we will never be able to know what Google thinks is natural. That’s why we also see that most of these sites have dropped in the last several years.
2. User behavior. Google has adapted its algorithm to analyze user behavior. Here is what they look for: how much time average users spend on your site and how many of them come back again. This is something that we can’t control. If we have a low quality site, people won’t stay on our sites for too long, and Google will see that.
3. Social signals. Google counts a site’s number of “likes” as a ranking factor. It’s obvious that if you offer quality content, you will receive many more votes. This is something that can’t be controlled artificially. (I’m not talking about buying fake likes, which Google will see)
It’s actually your content that affects your ranking on Google. That’s why you should concentrate your efforts on creating quality content. People will start linking to you, and you’ll see your site on Google’s top 10 in soon. No matter what Google’s next major change is, if you have good content, your site will retain its high ranking for a long time.
About the guest author: I’ve always been practicing white hat SEO, and that’s why my sites have almost never been penalized by Google. Here’s my latest site: http://www.elitesurveysites.com. I create only quality links to it and fill it with unique and valuable content for users.
This is an original article published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.
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