Spend a few minutes browsing SEO forums or researching search engine optimization and you’ll quickly find an expert expounding the on next thing Google is going to do to penalize your website. Don’t have enough outgoing links? Oh no. Key word density isn’t properly aligned throughout your article? Look out. Haven’t noindexed, noarchived, connicle url’ed, rel=author’d in exactly the right places? Might as well shut down the site and give up.
I even saw a discussion recently trying to decide if links in an article stolen from your RSS feed could hurt your search rankings and what you should do about it.
It’s enough to make you go crazy.
The problem with this type of thinking is that it places Google as the enemy, an entity out to punish and hurt those that aren’t doing everything exactly right. For years, many SEO experts have focused their efforts on gaming the system and finding quick tricks that might move a website up the search engine returns. And why not? These “black hat” SEO tactics often worked…for a while. However, when Google catches on and moves a website back to it’s proper place in the search engine returns it’s the black hat SEOs that scream the loudest.
What Google Really Wants
The one thing that everyone seems to quickly forget when they start talking SEO is what Google really wants. Google doesn’t care about fancy tricks or or thousands of incoming links. Google just wants to provide the best experience for the person using their search engines. For Google, it’s not about the publisher, it’s about the person using their search engine to find information.
Google succeeds when they provide the best possible information for the person using their search engine in the top spot. Even better if they provide an entire page of possible options, all of which provide the information requested, in a nice structured order from most relevant to least.
Fail to find the right information and Google fails. Fail too often and people will go elsewhere to find the information they need.
Give Them What they Want
Of all the linking strategies, article spinning, key word stuffing and other SEO tricks over the years only one has held up through all the Caffeine shots and Panda attacks–the information on the page. In other words, high quality content.
Content that provides the information that the person using the Google search engines is looking for will always look good in Google’s eyes.
Want to move up the search engine rankings? Provide that information. Be the answer the Google user seeks.
Make Friends with Google
Does this mean that SEO doen’t matter? Of course not. However, it is a different approach of looking at search engine optimization.
Once you’ve made friends with Google and realize that Google only wants to help their users, you can start doing whatever you can to help them. This means providing all the proper road signs to guide Google through your website such as uploading an XML sitemap or writing clear concise meta titles and descriptions that describe the content on the page.
It’s about helping both Google and the Google user understand what is on the page and if your page provides the information they truly seek.
When you build or redesign your website, make sure that your web designer uses clean code that is easy for the Google spiders to follow. Make sure that the CMS allows you to easily take care of on page SEO needs. If you’re using WordPress, which takes care of most of the coding problems for you, be sure to use a quality theme that can accommodation your SEO needs. While the price of a free theme may look good at first, remember, you get what you pay for.
Put Your Energy Into Helping Google
Once the website is built, instead of putting your energy and resources into the latest SEO trick, focus on building the high quality information that your target audience is looking for when they turn to Google. By doing so, you are helping Google succeed and when you help Google they will return the favor.
So have you come to love the Google Search Algorithms or are you still worrying? How have you found search engines? Tell us in the comments below.