Searching for the SEOly Grail
What you need to know about today's search engines
This article has been updated on 5/29/2019 with the article entitled “What's New for Search Engine Optimization Success?"
“We’ll make you Number One on Google!” Yeah, and their Nigerian prince will give a million dollars, too. Learn how search engines work before getting to work on your SEO, whether you’re hiring a legit professional or doing it yourself.
Blogging experts are predicting The Death of Search Engine Optimization. Again. Still. This amusing infographic rather accurately explains who is prophesying and why they believe SEO is dying, but the truth is that they are probably right. SEO, as we know it, probably IS dying.
Search engines exist to give people the answer they are looking for. If there are several possible answers, the search engine wants to give you the best option first, followed by the others. It stands to reason that you will likely choose the first result offered, so folks compete to be what the search engine deems the best – and therefore first – option.
Early “optimizers” figured that if you learned what criteria the search engines used to rate their results you could amp up your website to fit the criteria and boom! Number One on Google! But SEO manipulation can make a website technically fit the criteria but still be a lousy answer to the search request. That really ticks off the search engines who, let us remind you, exist to give people the answer they are looking for.
Google boasts that they make more than 500 search improvements in a typical year. That means they’re changing the rules once or twice a day! We will never know all of the factors in their search algorithms, but they are upfront about giving precedence to content that is relevant, fresh and authoritative.
Currently Google’s Personalized Search is huge deal, providing search results “based on geographic region, web history, and other factors…and your personal content into a single, unified search results page.”
That means search results will be different on my computer than on yours even for the same search term. Google explains more about this in their easy-to-follow interactive story about How Search Works.
So we need to accept that search engines will continue changing to keep ahead of people trying to game the system. What won’t change, as you’ll remember, is that search engines exist to give people the answer they are looking for. What you need to do then is make sure your website is the best answer for the queries of your potential clients.
We’re not talking about SEO tricks. We’re talking about that relevancy, freshness and authority mentioned earlier. Whether you are doing your own SEO or hiring someone to do it for you, that should be your game plan. Your goal is no longer being Number One on Google. Your goal is being Better, which really has always been the only real goal.
Contact us today if you’re ready for a practical discussion on making the most of your website. We’re always happy to help!