The latest Hummingbird, Panda and Penguin updates from Google have revolutionized the SEO industry. These updates bring new rules and guidelines with them to make searching experience more interesting and informative for the users. There’s no denying that SEO has changed after these updates, but the debate is still open as to what extent. ‘Will Content Quality and Website Crawlability determine the fate of SEO?’ is the big question that looms among users now. In this article, we will find out a satisfactory answer to this question.
According to Rand Fishkin (co-founder of Moz), there is no doubt that Content Quality and Website Crawlability are the two most important aspects of search engine optimization, but these are just “table stakes” that can limit the ranking of any website. There are various websites which are extremely crawlable and has optimum quality content, still these come at fourth or fifth page of Google and unable to drive traffic. The science of SEO is much more than only Content Quality and Website Crawlability, as these two aspects are necessary but not enough to improve your website ranking.
What are the other SEO factors?
One question might be popping in your mind that what are the other factors that are required to make your SEO practice effective. Following are some other factors that influence ranking of your webpage:
1. Keyword and Targeting- Keyword research and targeting is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search engine optimization. Ranking for the “right” keywords can make or even break your site; therefore, smart content marketers use thorough keyword research to find out what topics they should write about and what phrases they should use while writing.
If you do some in-depth research work, you will find more opportunities for top rankings exist in the world of the “long-tail” search phrases, rather than “short-tail” keywords. To improve your website’s ranking for specific keywords, you should focus on building a vast array of keyword portfolio. But, you should avoid stuffing your content, meta-tags and title-tags with lots of keywords just for the sake of ranking, as only relevant and limited keywords are effective for high ranking of your webpage. Furthermore, keyword research and targeting is not a fire and forget way to enhance search engine ranking, but it is a constant process in which you have to track new and demanding keywords.
2. Social Signaling- Today’s search engine optimization includes social signaling as its essential parts, as Google takes social signaling into consideration while gauging the authority of any website. It does not matter how informative or good your content is; but, if nobody is sharing your content, it will not help in enhancing your ranking. Therefore, it is recommended to create more and more social signals for your website’s content and for that you need to actively participate at social media platforms like Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter.
3. Mobile Compatibility- According to businesswire.com, 61% of smartphone users make local searches from a device. Therefore, if you don’t have a mobile or responsive site at all, these 61% of visitors will return to Google to find a website that is easily readable. In addition to this, if you have a mobile friendly website that has less content or looks significantly different than your regular website, this will frustrate your site visitors and they will look for something else that they found on the desktop version. In both cases, your bounce rate will rise and hence your rankings will drop. For effective SEO, mobile friendly web design is imperative which contains optimum quality content and should similar to your regular website.
What tactics are not effective in SEO?
There are various factors that are no longer effective in enhancing search engine ranking. You should avoid following activities to make your website safe from search ranking penalties and help it to dominate the SERPs for the long term.
1. Manipulative Linking Building- With new updates of Google algorithm, link building has become tougher than ever. The main goal of Google’s algorithm is to keep a close watch on those websites that indulge in manipulative link building techniques to loophole their way to the top of search results. As per report released by Portent (a popular internet marketing agency based in Seattle), the initial Penguin update penalized those websites whose link profiles contained over 80% of manipulative links. Now, the sites with 50% manipulative links are also facing the heat of penalty.
2. Spammy Guest Blogging- Earlier this year, Matt Cutts (head of Google’s web-spam team) came out with an announcement, which states, “If you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop.”
Guest blogging can be very beneficial for your website, but if it is done perfectly. Effective guest blogging helps to increase exposure, audience reach and it is an awesome branding tool, so why is Matt Cutts telling you to stop it? What he is really saying, is stop doing it in a wrong way! Therefore, Guest blogging is not dead, just using it only for SEO purpose has died. You can follow following tips to avoid penalty from Google:
- You can ask guest bloggers to create a bio on site
- You should look for those guest bloggers who have a Google authorship established
- You should make sure that the content being placed on your blog is a good fit
- You should not overload the blog with guest bloggers
- You should follow Google’s guidelines
3. Duplicate Content- The recent updates of Google algorithm are designed to find and penalize those websites that either scrape (steal) fresh content from other sites and publish it as their own or such websites that publish duplicate content to gain search engine rankings. Therefore, you should avoid duplicate content at any costs.
Content quality and crawlability are the prime requirement of search engine optimization, but only these two cannot take your website to the first page of search engines. You have to rely on other SEO aspects like Keyword Research & Targeting, Social signaling and Mobile friendly web design. On the other hand, various tactics like Manipulative Linking building, Spammy guest blogging and Duplicate content are no longer effective for search engine optimization and these tactics will surely invite penalty from Google’s new algorithm. If you want to make your SEO process professional and effective, you can also contact experienced and dedicated SEO experts, who take care of new rules of Google algorithm to lead the SERPs of your website