Google Has Changed and So Should We
The world of SEO is an ever changing landscape. With Google constantly revising their algorithm, the SEO soon becomes used to the goalposts constantly being moved: understanding that
what we accept to be good practice right now may not be six months down the line.
Since the rules of the game are forever in flux, the idea of producing a future-proof campaign becomes very difficult. There are plenty of SEO campaigns
that looked perfectly healthy this time last year that have since crashed and burned, caught in the storm of Google algorithm updates.
So as an industry dependant on search engines and Google in particular, how do we move forward? What do we do when Google could decide to disapprove of our methods at a moment’s notice?
Thankfully the obsessive way that the SEO community observes and records Google’s behaviour has yielded patterns that indicate Google’s key motivations for these changes. One of the most important is relevance. Google thrives on quality of service, and the best service a search engine can offer is the highest quality, most relevant results for every search.
Google wants to give searchers what they’re looking for (lest they go looking for answers elsewhere). The overall trend with the algorithm updates being toward promoting sites built for human consumption and penalising those built only to manipulate search engines. So following this trend to its natural conclusion, future-proof SEO will have to focus on providing well designed, easily navigable sites, filled with quality, well written content.
The nature of link building will have to continue to skew in favour of this idea of relevance too. We’ve already seen the easy wins of mass links from poor quality directories; link exchanges and others take a hit. It’s only going to become more and more vital that backlinks are natural. Yes, actively build them, but only in places that they won’t seem out of place. As the sophistication of the algorithm increases so too will its definition of relevance. Quality, not quantity, is the key.
In broad strokes, to be successful, SEO will need to increasingly become about serving the user relevant content. By doing this, rather than seeking quick wins, we can hopefully stop Google from pulling the rug out from beneath us again.