Google has completely rehashed its SEO game over the last 3 years. Before 2013 it was comparatively easy to play the search engine’s ranking algorithm, and this fact was easily realized by some of the most unscrupulous organizations in the dot com world. They started mass-producing low quality content filled with keywords to rank higher on the SERPs.
As Google figured this out, it introduced a sequence of infamous wardens cum algorithm updates. These came back to back and now we infamously know them as Hummingbird, Panda and Penguin. These updates were introduced to take down the Blackhat SEO specialists and encourage healthy SEO practices. As time passed, these adjustments contributed significantly to the dawn of the era of semantic research.
With the enforcement of new algorithms it became more difficult for existing, legitimate websites to rank higher in the SERPs. It became more and more obvious, that Google’s attempts to weed out corruption had massive collateral damage. If your website is one of the many facing the new challenges of search engine optimization then it is time you did a double check on the 5 basic rules of SEO.
1. The age of your website and its content –
We are sure that you have noticed, some of the veterans find it much easier to be placed in the first page of Google search results. Most of us have wondered if it has got something to do with long standing reputation, but none of us could muster the courage to ask this obvious question.
Our research shows that, it is indeed easier for older websites to be ranked higher. It can be termed as a “trust” factor that dictates Google’s decision. This phenomenon is also known as Indexed Age, and this refers to how long ago Google discovered the website’s domain and/or webpage. It hardly ever corresponds to the date when the domain was originally released, so you need to promote your content and share XML sitemaps with Google search engine as soon as you publish the content.
2. Google prefers quality over quantity–
If your content lacks substance, you might find it difficult to become friends with Google. Google prefers content that is rich in facts, figures and language. You can forget keyword frequency as long as your content conveys the message right. The Panda update has taught Google to “understand” the context of keywords and keyword variations rather than randomly pick out isolated phrases. As our recent study shows, reproducing old content and duplicating content from other sources can really hurt your SEO.
For example – you may have your own dental healthcare website that is coming up with new stories on ‘Recent Trends in Cosmetic Dentistry’, it will pay off if you include data from multiple sources and include words link “dental”, “dentist”, “teeth” and “orthodontic” in your content.
3. Size does matter –
Do you remember how mad we all were when Harry Potter movies simply excluded key scenes from the original book, like the shameful secret of Squibs or Neville almost becoming the chosen one?? Well, this is what happens when there a lid is placed forcefully on your creativity. Similarly when you have to keep your blog or article within a limit of 500 words we cannot expect you to include all the information you can possibly provide, and Google doesn’t expect you to either.
This is the primary reason Google favors long copies. You will notice a common trend among all first page rankers; they are all over 2000 words long. But simply stretching your content won’t fool Google. You need to put in some substance to woo the search engine for a first page position.
Make sure your team researches the content well and sticks to the particular topic. Unless your blog is trying to sell surrealism there is no excuse for going off on tangents. For example – you cannot begin with dental health and then include tips to strengthen gultes post pregnancy. If you are a dental health website, covering ‘Home Remedies for Stained Teeth’, it is better to read up at least 10 other blogs, research papers and reputed articles from the SRLs and then compile your own research.
4. Health of backlinks –
According to Google, the healthier your links are, the more reliable your website/webpage is. This means all links coming from healthy sources from around the web shall contribute to healthier SEO rankings. Google not only cares about your own content, Google also cares about the quality of the websites you are associating with.
Off late Google has been looking for IP diverse links and that means, you should look for websites that are geographically diverse. For example, if your healthcare website is based in Michigan it is better for your SEO that you link to content from websites that are based in Arizona or Colorado. Featuring a couple of blogs from guest authors from other websites is also a good idea provided you can seal the deal for some good quality links.
5. Are you ready to go mobile yet? –
This is one question you should have asked yourself at the beginning of 2016. But in case you haven’t, better be late than never. With the dawn of 2017 Google is planning on developing a new love for native apps and mobile responsive websites.
All desktop oldies can forget their glory days unless those are up in terms with the new mobile game. Google is so taken with mobile optimization that it helped launch the Accelerated Mobile Pages into the mainstream. Although it is taking time, very soon dedicated desktop websites will become history.
The easiest way to master the SEO game is to treat Google as your SO (significant other). Give Google enough reasons to trust you, keep your credentials in place, keep your stories interesting and always be mobile-ready! With these easy 5 rules, no one can stop you from becoming the SEO king of 2017.