Google is making great leaps and bounds in the realm of SEO, and it means good news for small businesses with high quality content. SEO, however, will likely have little to do with the way we've seen it before.
Lets think about how we use Google for a moment. When you search for something, what do you expect to see? Most likely, you're seeking a quality answer to whatever question you're asking.
Google wants to fulfill that need, but they need a way to do it. In the past, sites have been able to overload their content with tips and tricks that bump their page up to the top of the list, despite their actual value, and Google would display their page.
Increasingly, however, Google is seeking to display authoritative, relevant content, and they may have finally tipped the scales. This means that "playing the game" just wont cut it anymore - but quality content will.
SEO then, SEO now
You may remember back in 2013 when Google stopped providing keyword data. Pre-shift, SEO consisted of stuffing webpages with top keywords (and this concept got slightly more complicated over time). Once Google put a stop to keyword data being released, the shock was felt on businesses everywhere.
It is now clear that this initial move was just the beginning of a larger movement seeking to put the damper on SEO tactics that weren't yielding consistently helpful search results (and the cynic would add that it is a broader opportunity for Google to sell their AdWords product as well. Both are true.)
Quality content and website substance rises to the top
After the sobering shift, Google is seeking to pave the roads for high-quality content - content that provides substantial, no-nonsense, authoritative information. Additionally, the longevity of your domain, lack of duplicate content, an organized/efficient site-map, and sheer substance (in terms of page number) give your website a search engine boost.
Where to invest your time and money
The waters of SEO are as murky as ever, and despite what many marketing companies want you to believe, there is no quick way to rise to the top. Building a website steeped with rich, meaningful content takes time to accumulate, and gradually builds a following along with it.
Content creation has been shown, time and time again, to generate website traffic over an extended period of time. Quality content creation provides just what Google is now looking for - authority and viewership. Focus your online marketing strategy towards creating valuable content to move your website in the right direction.
Should we throw out our old SEO tactics altogether?
Of course, there are elements of SEO that we aren't throwing out the window just because Google isn't using them to rank your website. Having a functional layout, clearly articulated language, and centralized topics with keywords all serve to improve the experience for your website consumer once they DO arrive upon your website. These are elements of SEO that improve traffic regardless of a search engine bringing the traffic there or not.
The bottom line?
Google is changing, and this means our perspective as online marketers must change accordingly. Remember that SEO is less tangible now than it has ever been, and there is no such thing as a "quick fix." Focus your efforts towards developing a clean and helpful site rich with high quality content, while creating a following through social media avenues.
Unsure about how these changes effect your company? Looking to improve your content creation strategies? Don't hesitate to send us an email or give us a call. We'll he happy to help!