Most bloggers who have been active before 2011 are familiar with the effects of Google’s updated Penguin and Panda algorithms. Both updates were designed to weed out “thin” websites that were crowded with advertising and affiliate links and give more weight and better rankings to sites that provided quality content and highly engaging information.
The changes Google made started the beginning of a shift in the way bloggers and website builders present and maintain their sites.
No longer can you simply buy a long tail keyword domain name and plaster a bunch of affiliate links and let the traffic poor in. Instead, you must establish something of quality and value; something that engages readers and provides them with something they need or want.
In short, your site must solve a problem or provide unique and useful information. The lack of this kind of content and the abuse of the system over the years has given way to Google taking matters into their own hands.
And who could blame them? They practically run the internet.
Since this is the case, the term “content is king” is now truer than ever. While that doesn’t mean that we should throw off SEO and completely ignore it, we shouldn’t consider it to be nearly as essential as it once was.
Creating unique, helpful and engaging content should now be our primary focus as bloggers. Keywords or not, Google is exceptionally good at finding that type of content. Though it can take time, high quality material will eventually give you far better and more lasting results than all the SEO on the planet.
These are some of the reasons why.
Google is better equipped to figure me out than I am to figure them out, no matter what.
SEO is in every sense a method by which we, the lowly bloggers and content aggregators, seek to “figure out” and ultimately game the Google system. Now that’s not to say it’s wrong or unethical, but what we’re trying to do is analyze Google and try to get them to do what we want them to do, which is usually the following things:
•Notice our content.
•Increase our page rank.
•Rank our page high in search results.
In my view, trying to figure out the technical aspects of how and why Google does these things is extremely complicated. It would be far easier and probably take less time if we let Google figure us out by playing by the one simple rule they’ve asked us to play by:
Create unique, useful and engaging content.
The reality is that we’re woefully ignorant and uncertain about Google’s ranking methods and algorithms, thus we’d be better off to go by what we know works and what we’re certain they want to see from our posts and web pages.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a term that is used to describe the utilization and manipulation of Google’s rulebook.
Now that we’ve established how difficult it is to figure out Google, we should also realize how ridiculous it is to try and manipulate Google’s search engine, considering our limited knowledge of it.
To be clear and to avoid the pendulum swinging too far in one direction, keyword research and basic SEO isn’t manipulation and should be considered useful as a secondary factor behind the quality of our content.
The type of SEO I’m talking about is the kind that seeks to take “keyword research” to another level by using it to guarantee a certain amount of traffic or to a certain page that you’ve put minimal effort into creating, to rank high on Google’s search results.
You didn’t do anything wrong, but the problem is simple. Google doesn’t want your page there, and chances are that nobody wants to read it either.
By putting forth minimal effort and using Google’s own rulebook to manipulate the results, you’ve managed to come up with a site or post that a lot of people are going to see, but ultimately won’t find useful or interesting.
If you haven’t put the time and energy into creating great content, keyword research and SEO can quickly turn into manipulation.
Abuse and shortcuts are more prevalent online than anywhere else.
The freedom afforded to us on the internet is a precious and wonderful thing; though with tremendous freedom comes a tremendous amount of abuse, and that abuse has a way of driving down the value of what the internet world has to offer us.
As spammers flood sites like Facebook and Twitter, the value of those pages for honest people who are trying to build a successful blog or website will inevitably drop.
Yet there is a silver lining.
While the number of those abusers increase and the people who are trying to take shortcuts for internet get-rich-quick schemes are skyrocketing, those of you who produce honest, high quality content as a result of long hours, research and hard work, will become much more noticeable. You are the exact type of person that Google had in mind when they updated their Penguin and Panda algorithm; they wanted you to be successful and to be more noticeable than the spammers and shortcut takers.
Armed with that truth and a bit of patience, you should take advantage of the clear bias that Google has in your favor, by taking the time to create something that is genuinely interesting and helpful to people
Don’t use SEO as an excuse to take shortcuts and become an abuser instead of a contributor. Being an honest contributor might take more time and a lot of patience, but it will pay off in the long run.
Go the extra mile. It’s less crowded.
Luckily for us bloggers, there aren’t too many people on the internet who have even started running. Going the extra mile and taking your work and content to another level will set you apart from these people in such a way that your material is bound to be noticed and sincerely appreciated.
Seeing someone who is really making the effort to help people and connect with readers on their blog is such a refreshing experience, that you’re certain to gain an audience who is not just willing, but excited to share your content with other people, all in good time.
Putting in that time and effort will be the biggest component of your success when you finally find it. What keywords you used and where you put them will matter very little if people are just genuinely excited to share your posts with other people who can benefit from them.
In reality, that has been the case all along. Now those of us, who believe that, have Google’s algorithms firmly on our side of the playing field.
Take advantage of that fact and put your work and effort where you know it’s going to count.
About the Author
Jason Bayless is a professional blogger that gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice. He writes for BestSEOCompanies.com, a nationally recognized comparison website of the best SEO companies in the United States.