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Just a couple years ago, search-engine optimization (SEO) was considered a specialized knowledge of how to manipulate

Google’s search rankings

with stealth, secret tactics.

Back then, it was an accurate assessment, but the SEO industry has matured. It is now a dynamic, multifaceted online-marketing discipline that goes far beyond clever trickery, and has become an essential requirement of expertise for online marketers.

Google Ranking:

Google algorithms

have accelerated this shift by changing the game in ways that help users find information faster and in a way that emphasizes the giant’s own products.

With

Google Maps,

Google Earth, Google Images, Google Translate about 4 other tools we use everyday, it’s pretty apparent we are using Google for many things.

You need to understand what Google’s goal really is. What can online-marketing professionals learn about the future best practices of the SEO industry by studying Google’s present pattern of changes?

Google Search Ranking Factors:

1.

SEO

is now more about building a brand than trying to “trick” Google algorithms.

Changes over the past two years already have shifted our perception of search-engine optimization. We’re no longer talking about just links, keywords and Page Rank.

Instead, we’re talking about branding and content strategy. But building a brand and publishing high-quality content are not new concepts, they’ve always been important parts of inbound marketing. So why the sudden shift within the SEO industry?

Google’s “Penguin and Panda” algorithm updates sent a clear message to webmasters and marketing professionals: Google will not tolerate manipulative tactics or low-quality content in its search results. The result? A quality content strategy became the only option to achieve good results in search results.

A content strategy is only effective, when executed by a strong brand, otherwise, the content achieves little reach, viewership or audience.

An effective content strategy is the right road to building a brand. So now, the focus is now on content and branding rather than manipulation and trickery.

2. Google is not just a search engine.

Of course, Google started as a search engine and it continues to serve that function. But Google has also become the leader in consumer-facing, data-oriented projects.
Knowledge Graph is one example, which attempts to figure out what searchers want, quickly supplies the information and anticipates the next question,

Many searches are location-based. “Vegan restaurants in Indianapolis”, “Spas in Tacoma”, “Where can I get designer shoes in Milan?” All these queries return search results that are loaded with extra information, from reviews to price ranges to maps.

Add in the paid ads, which dominate the top spots in the rankings, and the top-ranking organic search results now appears a few hundred pixels down the page.

That number-one organic ranking has lost a significant amount of visibility.

3. Links are still a key, but for a different reason now.

googleIt’s widely thought that the quantity and quality of inbound links to your domain and individual pages on your site are the primary factors in the ranking algorithm.

But because of the resulting market for link buying and selling (which Google hates), Google might be adjusting its algorithms to give lower algorithmic weight to inbound links.

But, even if links become irrelevant for SEO purposes, that doesn’t mean they won’t still be important for your online-marketing campaign.

Before anyone knew what SEO was, we tried to get other websites to link to ours for a different reason: Referral traffic.

How does Bill Smith discover your website if not via Google? Maybe he sees it mentioned on a blog. Maybe he found you on Twitter or Facebook. Or maybe he saw a sign in the offline world. In every case, he got to your website through a “link.”

Ask yourself this question: If Google wasn’t even in the picture, would marketers still need to build links? The answer is YES, if you’re in it for the long haul,

4. The future is “Now.”

Google Now is more than a mobile voice search challenging Apple’s Siri. It’s an entirely different mindset that pulls answers from Geo locations, search history and preferences, as well as recent activity on Google products and other places.

It can search your calendar for birthday reminders. It can find your travel itinerary in your Gmail and spit out a weather report for where you’re headed.

The emphasis is on providing answers, not webpage results. The challenge for businesses today is making yourself relevant enough in people’s lives so that you show up in search results.

Google Search Ranking Tips:

Because most of this takes place on mobile devices, SEO also includes optimizing your websites to be mobile-friendly.

5. View online marketing with a “product” perspective.

If you’ve a bad product, you can sell a few units through excellent marketing. But this strategy won’t last long and it’ll kill your brand as the word spreads.

This is why you should treat every aspect of your inbound marketing campaign as a product.

Look at your content as your chief product.

Content can be a blog post, an eBook, a Video, an Email Newsletter, an Info graphic and just about anything that’s going to be consumed by your audience.

Most marketers and advertisers, tend to value campaigns (the process) over the product. But just the opposite philosophy is your ticket to long-lasting success.

Apple does great marketing campaigns, but their focus is always on creating the best products possible.

Here’s the Conclusion.

Google Search Ranking Signal:

The irony here is that many people who try hard to get that number-one ranking in the search results usually fail, while brands and marketers who patiently and systematically follow these steps, not only reach their goals, but stay there over the long haul.

Google has carefully designed its strategy to encourage strong, quality content publication, so its users don’t have to see the “spammy content” that used to clutter its search results.

Google’s future changes will be to encourage this trend of quality further and branding instead of “manipulation and trickery.”

Author: Jayson DeMers