One of the things that flummoxes those who create Web content for a living is the subtle nuances in the way that search engines function. For years it was thought that as search engines crawled through miles of content, the trick was to entice those engines with keywords and backlinks.
While this method has worked well for a while, it has left the Google gods in a quandary. All too often, the keyword and backlink method of search engine optimization was compromised by what’s known in the business as Black Hat Techniques. Essentially, unscrupulous webmasters tweaked the system to their advantage.
In recent years Google has done a great deal to prevent those shady SEO methods, and Web searches today produce results of a much higher quality than they did previously. However, Google has recently taken additional measures and put into place new search engine algorithms, called Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, that mimic human choice patterns and rely even less on keyword and link indicators.
What does that mean in layman’s terms? Essentially, Google’s engines are looking more at sites with high quality content and active user engagement and less at some of the more traditional SEO standards. While this is a win for the average Internet user, it places additional pressure on those who must reevaluate the ways that they use SEO practices.
Is there a way to balance the use of keywords and backlinks with high quality content? Experts believe that there absolutely is.
It’s true that Google changes its algorithms frequently, but these newest changes are designed with the Internet user in mind. When Panda was in development, Google utilized thousands of human volunteers to analyze search results; then the engineers wrote the algorithms around those human’s actions. The outcome is a better search engine that produces results that people want to see.
The majority of those people wanted to see quality content rather than link heavy articles that were light on substance. While this has done a great deal to curb rampant spam, it has also challenged websites to improve the quality of their content and submit work that is relevant, engaging and easy to navigate.
While some might see these new practices used by Google as a direct threat to their SEO practices, it really isn’t that simple. These are in no way the end days for SEO, but instead, Google has created a new way for webmasters and content creators to refine their work and seek to provide more quality content to go hand in hand with SEO methods already in use.
One of the best ways to adapt to the changes in the Google algorithms is to step back and take a good look at your SEO practices. Are you relying heavily on keywords and backlinks to improve your search results? Are you crafting your content around keywords?
If you answered either of those questions affirmatively, it might be time to reevaluate your practices. Studies have shown that while backlinks are absolutely beneficial, their overuse can be crippling. Keyword-laden content that lacks a natural word flow can be equally as bad for your SEO.
Experts believe that a good combination of both quality content and standard SEO practices is the recipe for success. Quality content needs to be crafted with SEO practices in mind, and keyword usage should be limited. Google has recently lowered the ideal keyword density from the 7 percent of a few years ago to the current 0.5 percent. This is good news for those who love writing content for their website, but hate the overuse of keywords that was necessary to rank high in search results.
As the Google Authorship program continues to grow, there are more options for those who want to improve their rankings without relying solely on SEO practices. Google Authorship allows creators to verify their work through the Google Plus platform, which lends credibility to that work and allows it to appear higher in the search results.
If anything has spurred on the drive to create quality content it’s the advent and heavy use of social media. Social media users want to share interesting, thoughtful and engaging information with their contacts, so it’s in every content creator’s best interest to provide the best content that is directly related to their brand as they possibly can. Google’s search engines take into account the level of engagement that readers have with content, which might be the best reason to make your content is the best that it can possibly be.
Everyone knows that Google is continues to change their algorithms regularly, but instead of seeing Google search results as a mountain’s summit to reach and stay, look at it as a hurdle to simply leap and continue moving. The Internet is constantly evolving, and if quality content is the most current and effective way to engage with customers and improve search results, everyone is a winner.