Every time Google releases a piece of advice on how to optimize a website for search, they repeat the same old message – produce content for your visitors, not for the search engines. In the past, many website owners, and quite a few SEO ‘experts’ ignored this advice, often producing content aimed fairly and squarely at the search engines. If you were to read their content, you’d be turned off before you finished the first paragraph. Guess what – the time has come to listen to Google.
Their latest piece of advice is well worth reading and taking note off. What is more important is to consider the changes that have occurred over the last 12-18 months. Panda and several other updates have really penalized, or at least disadvantaged, content that isn’t quite up to standard. There is a good reason for this. Google for one, is now trying to act like a real human being. When ranking sites for keywords, they are trying to work their algorithms to represent a real person’s needs. Whilst keywords, links, likes and other ranking factors are important, a persons search and surfing history is starting to play a bigger role. The influence of their social networks is also starting to have an effect on search results.
The end result is that two people, in the same town, entering the same search criteria, could have entirely different results shown. Rather than seeing this as a negative, businesses need to look at this as a real positive – you are going to receive more targeted traffic. Users are going to be shown results that are relevant to them rather than the hodge-podge of irrelevant results often displayed in the past.
I strongly recommend small business owners to look at what Google has to say about search engine optimization, spend a moment or two watching the video, then to think carefully about their content. Does it satisfy the needs of a user? If not, why not? That’s not to say you shouldn’t look at areas in your content that could be optimized for search, just don’t overdo it.