How often do you hear Search optimizers talk about Google’s Algorithm updates? How many times have you read an article saying that Google has adopted a new algorithm and how you need to change the campaigns to be relevant?
Frequently it has been said that Google and SEO world are changing, and that is right to most reasons. Google’s major update history is ripe with many new updates, usually rolling it in once every few months. Sometimes they introduce brand-new ranking factors, even though there are hundreds out there already. Sometimes, they change only the aesthetics of the ranking page. Other times, they’re barely noticeable, causing changes to a fraction of the sites making them gain or lose ranking spots.
It is better to pay attention to these updates, because they often represent new ranking opportunities, or introduce new criteria for webmasters that you should comply with. But in the SEO world they are often overblown; sometimes analyst instead of understanding the marginal changes of these updates, say it is game-changing or revolutionary.
In reality, despite these frequent updates, SEO and Google’s core algorithm haven’t changed all that much in the past decade. The ranking factors which affect the rank of the website are still present, and even though they have been tweaked and changed, they remain the pillars of a successful SEO Strategy. Chances are that these pillars will remain the same over the years to come.
So what are these fundamentals
- Bots need to see your site: firstly, Google cannot rank your site if they cannot see what they want or see you site exists at all. Google first attempt at ranking of the websites on the internet requires that it take stock of all the content on the web; for this purpose they use bots to read and understand all the content on the web. If you’re site cannot be seen by the bots, then there will be no indexing which will be done and hence your site cannot reach the result in the SERPs. This is where Technical SEO comes into play. Technical SEO is all about making sure that the website loads properly, is visible to the bots, and provides the right picture of your brand and site. While some aspects of technical SEO keep changing, the broad ones need to keep your site visible is permanent.
- Site Structure, indicates entry structure: as an extension to that visibility to bots the layout and structure of your site is going to indicate how Google evaluates your site, and how it appears in SERPs. For example, the sites title and description along with the metadata are taken from the website and used to populate the SERP results. Special formatting such as structured markup, can also be used to provide information which he searches for, for example, you might use this microformatting to publish a calendar, which users will be able to see immediately in search engines.
- Quality content is a must: Google’s business runs by directing users to the best content which they are looking for, and that means in order to stand a chance at creating more search visibility, you have to create and promote a great content. “Great” means creating a long informational content with dense, readable and digestable. Though, Google doesn’t explicitly publish the method it uses to evaluate “quality” content, you should be intrinsically, how good your content is. The better the content, the higher it’s going to rank.
- Trust is built in networks: usually no single source can tell the trustworthiness of a page. Google hence rely on a varied source to decide the trustworthy, and hence rely on a vast network of trust indicators to mutually establish the most trustworthy sources on the internet. Currently, this manifest in the form of links. The more links which are pointing to your site, the more trustworthy those sites are, the more trustworthy your site will be deemed to be. Obviously, link building and link evaluation have undergone significant transformations in the past few years, but the overall concept is still in place. Building and maintaining the link profile of your site is still the best way to maintain domain authority of your site.
- Spam and rank manipulation are bad: ever since Google began ranking its sites it has been fighting sites which use spam and black-hat techniques of rank manipulation. Black-hat rank manipulators use various techniques like link spamming, keyword stuffing, link schemes, and hidden keywords to try and boost their ranking without putting in the effort, and Google has tried constantly to single out and punish such schemers and put their ranking into dirt. Google rewards sites which try to give more value to their users so if you’re caught trying to game a system, you’re going to pay a price. That hasn’t changed- it’s only the sophistication of these detection processes that have evolved.
If you want to build a successful and sustainable SEO strategy, these five fundamentals should reside at the core of your campaign. No matter what changes Google rolls out in the future, if you’re able to follow these principles consistently, you should have no trouble achieving higher search visibility.