Back in the day, SEO used to be all about keywords and keyphrases.
Webmasters peppered website pages with keyphrases making content very difficult to read for the human. What they were trying to do was indicate to the search engines what the web page and website was all about.
Webmasters tried to control/manipulate the search engines so that their own websites would be indexed. They played with keywords/phrases both on the pages and in the backend of the website via the metas.
I am sure you can remember reading some pages that almost did not make sense because the multitude of keywords/phrases interrupted the flow and sense of what you were reading. Not only were the actual pages filled with this jibberish and repetition, the metas were also stuffed likewise.
Basically, it was the webmasters shouting “pick me, pick me!” to the search engines such as Google, Internet Explorer etc.
Furthermore, some webmasters would try to trick the search engines – filling the page and the metas with particular keywords/phrases only to draw the user to click on the website link, but then find that the page had nothing whatsoever to do with the keywords/phrases.
This behaviour was all a long time ago now. You are rarely presented content that is irrelevant to your search terms. This is because Google (the master search engine) has rewritten the ‘rules’. Webmasters can no longer manipulate the search engines. It is the search engines (Google) that sets the agenda – and if you play the SEO game properly your website will be rewarded.
If you were to try any of the above techniques i.e. keyword stuffing or try to trick Google, your site will get short shrift and be penalised by being sent to the bottom of the class i.e. the internet, never to be seen again.
How have the SEO changes happened?
Google has implemented a variety of alogorithms over the past 4 years in its attempt to improve the user experience. Google wants to index websites that are written and structured with the human user in mind and wants users to continue to use Google. Google does not want to disappoint the user with unrelated content. Such disappointed users might then go and change to Internet Explorer or Yahoo etc. Over 89% of searches are done using the Google search engine – a very successful brand!
So if you want your website to rank well, you must learn about the changes in the industry and amend your SEO practices accordingly. If you cannot do it yourself, make sure you use the services of a reputable SEO company – particularly one that has achieved page 1 and position 1 for itself and one that keeps up to date with the changes in the industry.
A relatively recent change in the industry is the change in backlinking strategy. For the time being it is still useful to for example, list your website with high ranking directories aiming for “do follow” links. However, increasingly, Google want to pick up quality backlinks from social media platforms, rather than links for linking sake. If Google find these links, it will reward your website.
Backlinks is about content management – the writing of unique content, regular uploading, posting on social media and tweeting.
Watch this space for more information about natural link building strategies.