3 Evergreen SEO Practices For Retaining High Rankings Through Any Google Update
Published on: 17th September 2013
Google's ever-changing algorithms and guidelines are not always easy to keep up with or even fully understand. Just when you think you're on the right track an update comes around that renders your entire “linkbuilding” effort futile and even detrimental to the ranking of your site. We must accept that we're not able to predict the future, but we are able to see what it is that Google and other search engines are wanting from websites, and what type of sites their trying to reward or penalise with their algorithm updates. The following 3 evergreen SEO practices can ensure that you stay on Google's right side through any update:
1. Publish Content That is Interesting and Informative
How often do you visit a page looking for the answer to a question, only to be greeted by content that “beats around the bush” before finally giving you a sliver of substance that leaves you feeling as though someone has stolen 10 minutes of your time? Sometimes you keep reading because the content is written in an interesting or entertaining manner, only to find out that it contains very little insightful information.
Or how about the adverse? How many times have you come to a page that is loaded with information, but it is written in such a pedantic and over-intellectual fashion that you look elsewhere for a simpler and more succinct explanation of what you're researching?
Content should possess a balance of entertainment and information – one to keep the visitor reading, and one to satisfy the reader and keep them coming back, instead of going back to the search engine for a premature second opinion. Which brings us to the reason why this practice is good for SEO and always will be. Search engines can see how long a visitor stays at your site before returning and clicking through to a different site on the search engine results page (SERP).
By giving the visitor content that is easy to digest and fun to read you ensure that they stay on your site for a longer time period, and you motivate them to want to read other pages on your site, thereby reducing bounce rate. By the way, bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that come to your site and then leave after only viewing one page – this metric or a similar one will probably always be used by search engines.
2. Avoid Linkbuilding Schemes Altogether
The practice of linkbuilding can be loosely defined as carrying out actions with the intent of constructing hyperlinks that point back to a page on your site from on an external site. Notice the key phrase “with the intent” as this is ultimately what makes the difference between an honest promotional effort and premeditated linkbuilding scheme.
Now, is this to say that we should trick ourselves into believing that we're not after inbound links from authoritative sites? No, of course not. What we're saying is that you have to operate with intention of providing content or a product/service that is so commendable that people will want to link to your site.
If you can do that then you solve two problems with one solution – you stay in good standing with Google because your link profile will always appear natural (because it will be), and you build a large following and network of real individuals that will like, share, and comment on your content or product/service release as soon as it launches. In other words, satisfy your audience and they will build your links for you!
3. Stay Active in Social Networks
Finally, social signals are holding more weight than ever in the search engines and without an active presence on social networks it is unlikely that you'll be able to compete in any industry or niche.
Google is getting better at indexing and analysing social networking activity in order to determine the validity and authority of accounts, profiles, status update, links, etc. What this means is that it is no longer easy (or wise) to artificially manipulate a social media campaign using fake accounts or any other less-than-legitimate method.
Search engines want to see comments, likes, shares, and links from real individuals/sites who have authentic followings, so the only way to abide by that guideline on an ongoing basis through any algorithm update is to create a genuine social presence and stay active in spreading awareness the honest and effective way. If you haven't yet signed up for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+ then now would be a good time to start, especially if you're trying to improve the SEO attributes of your site.