SEO was once seen as wizardry where it is now admirably transparent, with content marketers being heavily relied on to bring their company’s site into the realms of ranking success.
Google now appear to be a little more humane, recognising quality and company efforts through algorithm updates. We recently experienced the Panda 4.1 update that put huge emphasis on the standard of content and branding, an introduction that shocked the online community through the surprise shifts in website placement.
SEO can only be achieved by building a brand, not manipulating the system to cheat your way to the top. Where we used to be slightly obsessive over gaining links and being keyword rich there is now a heavier focus on rewarding sites with an effective content strategy, sites that are offering searchers their knowledge.
Google are really showing webmasters who is boss of late, not tolerating manipulating tactics and penalising sites with low-quality content. You now have to put a lot of effort into appearing in search results, constantly building on your brand to offer the searcher information that they are seeking.
Where many view Google as simply being a search engine they are so much more than that. Google is quickly becoming the leaders in consumer-facing, data-oriented schemes, wanting to interact with searchers and provide further assistance wherever possible.
The majority of searches are location based, ‘restaurants in Cardiff’ for example. Google now try to preempt the next search, throwing relative pages at you that they feel may be of use. This will be articles such as ‘Things to do in Cardiff’, maps and city guides.
Link building has been at the forefront of SEO stratagems for some years with many feeling that this was the only way to give their site weight. Due to this online businesses employed a culture of buying and selling links, a marketing approach that Google hates.
So, what is the conclusion?
If we look back at the history of SEO it quickly becomes apparent that those who try and achieve ranking power quickly often fail, where brands that follow Google’s recommendations and are patient in their journey to the top of page one succeed.
It is simple really, just remember, content is King!