The average person does not have the time to learn more than the surface concept of a particular topic. For example many of us can drive a car yet very few of us can actually open up the bonnet and explain exactly how the engine works. Accumulating this type of specialist knowledge is not only time-consuming but also a rather pointless exercise. After all we can remedy any engine failures we are confronted with by calling out a dedicated expert.
However problems can arise when we take this attitude into our professional lives. When we find a formula, technique or strategy that is making us a profit sometimes we have a tendency to become complacent. It is easier to be lazy and assume that a method is going to last forever than to try and understand the mechanics of why a particular technique is working atall.
This is a flaw that countless amounts of modern SEO’s tend to suffer from. They try out different techniques to please Google and use the ones that do without having any understanding of why Google likes these particular techniques. It makes them weak and inadaptable – subject to the advice of others and ignorant to the marketing opportunities available to them if they just took the time to think.
Increasing your empathy for Google
I am worried by the amount of SEO’s who seem to perform their work in cruise control. They work with a very black and white way of thinking – we will do what worked last time or what others are doing. I am not saying that this approach to SEO won’t work but I do want to stress the benefits of knowing why you are doing what you are. All it requires is a simple change in the way you think about SEO. If you fully understand Google’s desires and motives you’ll be able to craft your own marketing strategies – ones that can be adapted and evolved in times of change.
The first step is to learn of Google’s main aim – which is to maintain their position as the world’s #1 search provider. SEO is not about your website or your brand; it’s about Google and its desire to keep up its profits by pleasing its users. If your website will in anyway damage the relationship that Google shares with its searchers then your website will hold no place at the top of the SERP’s. The most effective techniques in SEO involve improving the search experience for Google’s users – understand this, and you understand SEO.
To help solidify this idea I would like you to consider Google’s attitudes to the things listed below:
Google on content: For many years people criticised Google for being unable to distinguish authentic and interesting content from keyword laden drivel that had been spammed by content farms. There were some who were so annoyed that Google kept listing sites such as eHow.com near the top of the SERP’s that they abandoned using Google altogether – alternative engines such as Bing and Blekko were seen as preferred choices. Google’s reaction to this was immense. They released the Panda update and punished and penalised those websites that had damaged their reputation. That is why well written, researched, authentic and original content is what your website needs to find SEO success. It improves the search experience for Google’s users.
Google on web design: Searchers also weren’t happy that poorly structured websites were allowed SEO success – slow, unclear and misleading websites seemed to be growing in number. Again Google reacted adding signals to their algorithms that measured the loading speeds of webpages as well assessing the ease of navigation and structure that a website has to offer. This is why increasing your page loading speeds, re-writing your navigation labels and uploading a site map will increase your SEO prospects. It improves the search experience for Google’s users.
Google on Inbound Links: Measuring a websites reliability by the links that are directed to it is one of Google’s oldest yet still incredibly relevant tricks. Google’s users want to find websites that are industry leading – those pages that are respected and referred to on a regular basis. It is not in a webmasters commercial interest to share a link to a neighbouring website unless displaying that link will illustrate them in a good light. Webmasters will therefore only link to websites if their content or service has something of genuine value. That is why accumulating inbound links for your website is so important. It offers Google undisputable proof that your website will be of use to its searchers and is thus worthy of a tasty spot in the SERP’s. Link Building leads to Google displaying only the best at the top. It improves the search experience for Google’s users.
Thinking independently in SEO by asking ‘why’
Although my comments above may paint a very pessimistic view of Google as a profit driven monster I think it is the right way for any SEO to see the search engine. If you understand what Google wants, and thus what its searchers want, you’ll be able to create your own SEO methods without ever having to read an online guide.
My post may not provide you with the practical utility that others boast but it does offer you some important things to consider. If my words achieve nothing else I hope they make you think why the next time you come across an SEO ‘what’.
About the guest author: ZenoSEO are a top SEO Reseller who perform this type of questioning instinctively. You can visit their website at www.zenoseo.com for a quote.
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