Google has made sweeping changes to the algorithms that determine the rankings of web pages, resulting in the obsolescence of a wide variety of search engine optimization (SEO) practices with other practices becoming the core of successful SEO efforts. Here are two things to do in light of what Google wants now.
$ Develop professionally written content – Quality content has always been a central element of SEO campaigns but black hat optimization tricks often surfaced crummy content, much to Google’s dismay. Over the last three years, with the rollout of the Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird algorithm updates, the search engine gradually shut down manipulative practices such as low quality publications on sites referred to as content farms and buying spammy links by the thousands. With the elimination SEO trickery, the publication of quality content is now a core element of SEO. Additional changes in the algorithms are now designed to reward websites that regularly post valuable content which subsequently generates social signals such as sharing and other forms of engagement. The best way to ensure that your content attracts these forms of attention is to develop professionally written content, which can enhance branding efforts as well.
Make your website mobile device friendly – Desktop computers will never go away completely but mobile devices are both the present and the future for internet access. Google, which already considers the web to be “mobile first” and strives to deliver the best user experience possible to its customers, is now gauging the quality of the interface between mobile devices and websites, which doesn’t bode well for sites that present the same page configuration whether being viewed with a massive screen or a small viewport on a smartphone. To deliver the website experience Google seeks, you’ll need to make your website mobile device friendly by adding responsive design architecture, which configures and customizes the information on each page to the size of the screen through which is being viewed.
Here are two things to stop doing:
$1 Believing in SEO shortcuts – While there was once a stable of black hat techniques that delivered SEO results, those shortcuts have been rendered useless by Google’s algorithm changes. Generally speaking, the optimization process must now follow a more natural path, which no longer includes instant gratification in SEO efforts.
Guest blogging – When it came to guest blogging, the temptation of doing spammy content to generate links was too much and Google has now killed the practice. Whether you were guest blogging on other sites or allowing others to blog on yours, the benefits are gone and the risk of being penalized is too high to continue with this practice.
Giving Google what it wants will be the key to success in your SEO efforts. On the flipside of that coin, if you’re still taking shortcuts and/or trying to build links by guest blogging, stop both of them now.