What's New for Search Engine Optimization Success?
The Sprocket Report
This is an update to "Searching for the SEOly Grail” dated 4/1/2013.
Technology moves fast these days – which gives articles about technology a really short shelf life. Still, this post from 2013 needs only minor tweaks because today’s SEO strategies have only doubled down on personal search.
Folks who would never fall for the Nigerian prince scam too often pay SEO “experts” for disappointing results, leaving them to conclude that Search Engine Optimization is also a scam or at least a dying practice. Neither conclusion is true.
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 websites compete to be what the search engine deems the best – and therefore first – option.
In the past, technical manipulation could make a website attractive to search robots while still providing a lousy answer to a human’s search request. Search engine algorithms, particularly Google’s, continue to refine personalized 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. They’ve updated this presentation since 2013, but kept the same URL. (Which is in itself an SEO booster!)
Google says that their algorithm is constantly being perfected. We may never know all of the factors, but Google is upfront about giving precedence to content that is relevant, fresh and authoritative – all of which is important to the humans who are searching online.
Even so, paid advertising plays an ever bigger part. For instance, on any Google search results page, fewer organic results are displayed than in years past and more paid results. So what you need to do is make sure your website is the best answer for queries by the humans you want to reach.
Yes, you need to check off all the techie To-Do tasks like H1 and other tags, but more essential is that relevancy, freshness and authority mentioned earlier. Your goal is to constantly be the better answer to a human’s question, which really has always been the only real goal.
Contact us today if you’re ready for a practical discussion on how to improve your website’s SEO. We’re always happy to help!