First let it be clear that I am neither a “power-user” of the increasing suite of tools supplied by Google, or an SEO expert. What I do is approach strategy from the perspective of the potential consumer of that strategy, wether that be B2B, B2C, or in this case, U2G, User to Google.
SEO has been a hot topic for a decade, some really smart people have made loads of money providing advice and bottles of snake oil SEO solutions, often selling it to people who should know better.
When you think about it, SEO is all about getting your content ranked highly, preferably above the fold on page 1. To do that, the SEO proponents go to considerable lengths to “game” the Google algorithms. Google, like all businesses needs to ensure that the people who pay for its services (advertising) get value, so it is in their interests to remove the opportunity to “game” their system. Therefore it seems logical that they spend lots of resources developing algorithms that eliminate any advantage the “gamers” may be able to find.
Who has more money and expertise, the Gamers or Google?
Who really has the greater motivation to remove the opportunity for gaming, Google or the Gamers?
Googles business model is not to make your website popular, they do not care in the least about your site. Nor will they willingly allow you to make your site “popular” by leveraging their algorithms for free.
Googles objective is to find the popular websites and index and rank them to better serve those searching, and to present the searchers eyeballs to those advertising to reach them.
Trying to “out-Google” Google by staying in front of their algorithm development is a losers game. Much better to ignore them, and set about making your site popular because it deserves to be popular, and let Google find and rank you.
Having said all that, there are a few simple things that you would be negligent not to do on your site:
- Focus each page of your site on a key word or phrase
- Ensure each page has a meta description to make indexing easier
- Keep media files to a minimum size to speed up loading,
- And the most important one, and by far the hardest to do: Create great and relevant content that your target audience is motivated to read, bookmark, comment on, and share.
It is easy to be put off by the techno babble that goes on, a lot of it trying to squeeze out the last few percent of so called performance, when in most cases, particularly for SME’s the cost of the last 5 or even 10% efficiency is not justified by the cost of securing it. A little bit of common sense and focus on the customer and the value you are delivering goes a very long way.
SEO as it is usually practiced measures how often your content gets presented to be seen, not by who sees it, and not what they do with it.