Search Engine Optimization hasn’t really changed that much in the mind of Google.
Google’s goal is to provide the right experience for people who typed a search query into their search engine.
Unfortunatley, there are only so many sites that can be found on the first page of a search engine and the farther down your website is listed, the less amount of search engine traffic for your site.
These factors led many early search engine ranking professionals to figure out ways to manipulate website rankings. For example, early search engine professionals jammed a lot of keywords onto a page in order to trick Google into thinking this page must be very important in reference to the search term on the page.
It makes sense. You wouldn’t be searching for “dog cages” on a site for “car engines”. Google assumed that if the content was written with the search engine term multiple times, the website must really be focused on this term. They would then rank that webpage higher than pages that did not optimize for search terms.
Black hat search engine professionals would use tricks like keyword jamming, which would place the keyword on the webpage over and over again, thus tricking the search engine into thinking this page must be really important in terms of this keyword when in fact the page was not. These black hat search engine folks did this for many reasons, but customer experience wasn’t the main one.
As always, Google caught on and punished the websites that did not follow the Google Algorithm. They lowered their website ranking on Google or worse. Google does not like to be played and the companies that made a lot of money promising high rankings saw their client’s websites fall down the search rankings.
Google’s algorithm is not know and can change at anytime. In fact, Google has over 200 criteria that it uses to rank a website. One criticism is website developers need to know the website ranking factors in order to follow them so they should be known.
The truth is….
The tried and true method so far has been to provide your visitiors with a great experience.
Give them what they searched for…
Provide good website navigation. If it’s a mobile site it should be optimized for a smart phone….
Create great, relevant content that associates with the webpage……
You still need to provide quality links and other search engine friendly web design, but the goal should be to fulfill the user experience.
Here is a Blog.Hubspot.com Infographic of the Algorithm Changes over the Years.
Image Courtesy of Blog.hubspot.com