SEO Looking Into 2018
- The 8 Essential Rules For Dominating Google's Search Results
From very early, Google's core search algorithm presented what may
have been the most relevant organic search results quickly and accurately on a simple site with an
iconic logo that has now become synonymous with the search giant's business. Searching amidst the
world's vast data, Google cleverly catalogued and categorised pages using its PageRank formula,
which assessed the quantity and power of links to any given webpage.
For a few years, Google's search worked seamlessly, repeatedly
predicting the most relevant search results every single time, again and again. In fact, it was so
good that it sent shockwaves through the internet, digitally obliterating its rivals over time.
However, as Google's clever search engine grew into a colossus corporation, and both individuals
and businesses realised the inherent power of appearing organically at the top of any search,
things began to change.
The changes occurred at the behest of some unscrupulous characters
who were hell-bent on gaming the system. With so much money at stake, do you really blame them?
Once they learned the majority of the rules, they began poking and prodding Google's limits by
building massive link farms and content farms, spinning low-quality articles, and auto-generating
links in an effort to outgun other listings and secure the top spots on Google's lucrative Search
Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Some SEO firms still today adopt this into their
As a result, Google introduced several now-infamous adjustments to
its algorithm that went by the names of Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, just to name a few. As the
less-than-savoury characters began dominating Google's search by supposedly gaming the system,
Google had to act or risk losing its relevancy. These algorithm adjustments were intended to both
weed out the spoofs and scammers, while also fine-tuning its semantic search.
Fundamental Components Of Search
Before we dive into some of the crucial rules for succeeding in
SEO, we need to take a closer look at the fundamentals of Google's search engine.
The truth? Most people look at SEO the wrong way. They look at
ways to do the least amount of work for the greatest initial return, when in fact, it's quite the
opposite. Obviously SEO is one of the best skills that you can possibly learn, but in order to
succeed with it, you need to do the most amount of work for the least initial return. It's a slow,
steady and painful process, but that's also the nature of the beast.
Simply put, in the beginning, Google doesn't trust you. If Google
doesn't trust you, you're not going to rank on those lucrative first-pages. You'll be lost in the
fray amidst millions of others who're trying to claw their way to the top. So, the first real
guiding principle of SEO is trust. When you have Google's trust, you'll consistently rank highly.
When you lack its trust, you'll be lost in an abysmal sea of low-ranking webpages. And no one wants
In one of my books I touch on the SEO trust factors and I
cover the three components that comprise Google's trust. Each of the components has many factors
that influence it, but these are the specific foundational building blocks of just how Google's
trust works. And, considering that trust is an inherent part of Google's relevancy equation,
everything that you do should revolve around building Google's trust rather than losing it and
having it taken away.
#1: Indexed Age
Google cares deeply about the indexed age of both your website and
its content. A new website that's just been listed on Google is going to have a far harder time
ranking compared to a website that has indexed age. Indexed age refers to the date that Google
discovered the domain or webpage in question, not when it was originally registered or
#2: Authority Profile
Google wants to see a healthy link profile that signifies
authority. This means quality links coming from quality content across the web with a healthy
diversity. It cares about the importance of the sites that are linking to your domain, and also the
quality of the content those links are coming from. Further, it's looking for IP-diverse links,
meaning they shouldn't all be coming from the same source. And it's looking for a healthy link
velocity where high-quality links are being created with increased frequency over time.
Trust Component #3:
The underlying content is extremely important. Too many people
skimp on content, but it's one of the major anchors that tether you to Google's relevancy
algorithms. Not enough content with errors, or duplicate content and spun content can really hurt
you. Instead, the content not only has to be lengthy, but it has to be well-written, keyword
centric and highly engaging where readers are spending a good amount of time digesting and
consuming that content.
How to Dominate SEO Looking
Like everyone else, you're likely wondering how you can appear
relevantly and organically on Google's search engine. If you’ve decided to undertake SEO in 2017,
it's important to pay respect to the components of trust. But, there are in fact 200+ factors that
attribute to your rank in Google's current algorithm. Here are some additional rules you should be
The following rules will help you to dominate SEO in 2017. And no
matter what Google changes moving forward, these rules will still provide the bedrock that you
should govern your online activities around in order to make the greatest progress on those
all-important SERPs. Follow these rules and you'll find yourself inching closer and closer to SEO
domination on Google. Just remember that it won't happen overnight. It'll take time.
Rule #1 -- Always Work To Gain
If you want to succeed in SEO, you need Google's trust. This has
been true for years now, but too many people overlook this guiding principle. However, the question
then becomes, how do you get Google to trust you? Clearly, it isn't easy. Let's think about any
relationship here for a moment. How does anyone trust anyone else in this world?
There are plenty of dimensions to Google's trust, but to take a
real-world scenario for a moment, let's briefly look at the plight of a new business that opens up
shop. Let's just say for a moment that this new business needs working capital, and the founder
walks into a bank for a meeting with the bank manager.
Being a new business, this company will naturally face some bias.
How can they expect the bank to give them a loan for their business when they have no track record?
This is somewhat of a Catch-22, isn't it? In order to start and grow the business, it needs
capital, but in order to get that capital, it needs to have been in business for quite some time,
with a proven track record.
This is the same dilemma that will face any newly-formed website
or domain on the internet. If Google just found out about you, no matter when you first registered
that domain name, it's going to look at you with suspect. It won't trust you, thus, you won't rank
high, no matter what strategy you attempt to implement.
This is the greatest barrier to entry in SEO that possibly exists,
but there's a method to the search engine's madness, and much of it has to do with those unsavoury
characters who were so hell-bent on bending the rules. Today, Google knows about all your schemes,
so don't even bother with them if you're looking to build its long term trust.
Rule #2 -- Age Always Comes
Your website's age if more important than its beauty. No matter
how good your site looks, what Google is really looking for is link-consistency over time. How much
time? We're talking years here. Even if you have a healthy link profile and your site looks
amazing, loads quickly and is easy to navigate, it will fall short without age.
What do I mean really when I talk about age? I'm talking about the
indexed age of your website, its content and the links that are pointing to it. It's an
amalgamation of all these factors that relate to age. What's the velocity of links being created
over time? How much high-quality content is linking to your site and on what schedule?
Whether you're just learning SEO what's important to keep in mind
is that Google's algorithms are always logging, analysing and judging any behaviour related to your
website, its links, content and so on. If you do a lot of work for a month or two then completely
abandon your website, you won't help your efforts, you'll hinder them.
This has to do with both the freshness of content, and the indexed
age of the website. If Google only recently found out about your site within the last 2 years, but
you haven't developed a healthy link profile, you still won't have Google's trust. Remember, trust
is the first rule. But building trust comes through age.
Think about one of your oldest friends whom you've known for over
ten years now and that you trust with your life. Did you trust that person on the day you met them?
How about a few months after? What about a year after that? Trust develops slowly and it comes
through age. Keep that in mind and don't get discouraged in the short term.
Rule #3 -- Quality Will
Trump Quantity Every Single Time
When it comes to doing anything on the Web, one of the steadfast
rules is that quality trumps quantity every single time. Don't focus on doing something so many
times, rather focus on doing it the right way enough times. For example, don't worry so much about
pushing out a certain amount of content every single day; worry about pushing out good content
every single week. That's what Google cares about -- quality.
When it launched its Panda algorithm, Google was really going
after quality through the user experience. Most importantly, it was looking for poor quality user
experiences, or sites that were simply meant to garner traffic and then deceitfully push visitors
through some means to buy a product or a service through an affiliate link, or to bombard them with
Google wasn't too happy about that. It wasn't happy about it then,
and it certainly won't be happy about it now. In fact, Google's aim to increase the overall quality
of not just its search engine, but of all the information on the web. It's cleverly devised these
rules and ranking factors to ensure that quality increases over time rather than
No matter what type of SEO strategy you want to employ, no matter
what type of link-building efforts you're looking to engage in or SEO company you are looking to
employ, ensure that it's about the quality not the quantity. Don't use link-generating software,
article spinners, or anything else like that if you're serious about achieving any respectable rank
on Google's SERPs. Put in the work and put in the time, elevating quality over quantity.
Rule #4 -- Content Will
Always Be King
The underlying content of a site will always be king even if your
potential customers are not all reading it. If the content falls short, so will the SERP rankings.
Google's aim to deliver the most relevant results in the quickest manner possible has much to do
with delivering the best possible content. If the content is no good, how can it be
Keep in mind that most people have now automatically become
reliant on Google, knowing that the first result will likely be the best result. In turn, everyone
wants that top spot, but you simply won't get it if your content isn't good enough. The truth is
that great content is shared often. Everyone wants to share something that delivers real value. So
put the time into the content, because that's what counts.
Yes, other factors matter. But, without great content, you can
forget about your chances to rank. I'm not just talking about creating great anchor content on your
site. I'm also talking about going out there and building equally-great content that links to the
great content on your site (also known as content marketing).
Clearly, in order to succeed with content marketing, you need to
deliver enormous amounts of value. You need to genuinely assist people with answering a question or
understanding a topic. You can't do that if you skimp on the content. Great content can come in a
number of forms, but I'm primarily speaking about written content here (often the job of hired SEO
companies like us).
Great content, when crafted the right way, can send you
skyrocketing up Google's SERPs, but only if you stay consistent. You can't deliver great content
one week, subpar content the next week, then not deliver anything for a few weeks and expect to
rank. Learn how to write compelling copy that sells, but also copy that delivers enormous amounts
Rule #5 -- Regardless Of What You've Heard, Size Really
One of the things that Google has been battling against on the web
is something called thin content. Thin content is content without much meat on the bones. Not only
is it short on length, but it's short on value because of it. You can't expect to deliver big on
value when you write a 500-word article. Even when you write an article that's less than 1,000
words, it's hard to compete against those who are delivering far more than that.
One specific study on Google's rankings determined that the first
page of its SERPs with the top spots were all above 2,000 words.
The goal isn't to simply write 2,000 words of rambling content.
No, size matters, but so does the quality in that size. It needs to be well written for starters,
and it can't go off on tangents. The content has to be laser-focused. Writing substantial,
laser-focused content can be difficult even for seasoned writers.
There's an enormous difference between being a great writer and
being a great SEO writer. The latter requires the former as a prerequisite, but it's a far more
developed skill. Sure your prose needs to be on point. But if you're serious about search engine
optimization in the slightest, the content also has to be specifically tailored for a given topic
Rule #6 -- Keywords, Keywords, Keywords, But Don't Overdo
Creating great SEO content has so much to do with keywords, but
also so little to do with them. Google wants content made for humans. But you also have to tailor
the content for search engines like Google. The distinction here, however, is a very difficult one
to make, and it's very easy to cross the line.
What often ends up happening is that people overstuff keywords in
an effort to rank. This triggers Google's Penguin algorithm, which can decimate your listings on
Google. You don't want that. What you want are not only exact-match keywords in your article, but
also Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords. LSI keywords are words that relate to your main
Google's Hummingbird engine uses LSI as a way to determine the
similarities between words and phrases. So, something like "best diets for losing weight quickly"
would be semantically similar to "top weight loss diets that work fast." LSI keywords are relevant
and similar keywords that make the writing more organic in nature.
Your aim? Make your content keyword-centric, but don't bombast the
exact keywords over and over again. Use a healthy ratio of 70 to 80% LSI keywords to the 30 to 20%
of exact match keywords. What you want is your content to sound natural and organic, and not have
to force keywords. But you also want to ensure that similar phrases to your primary keyword appear
Yes, it can be difficult to do. But with practice comes
perfection. With over 200+ factors involved in Google's core algorithms; it's easy to get
overwhelmed. But if you stick to creating amazing content that delivers enormous amounts of value,
and is also lengthy enough to clearly convey the purpose or the answer to the questions that people
are seeking, you'll win the ranking game over time. Not overnight. But definitely over
Rule #7 -- Step Up Your
Today, if your site doesn't have a mobile design and it's
extremely difficult to navigate or load the content on mobile devices, you're essentially shooting
yourself in the foot. Mobile searches are now outpacing desktop searches, and Google is furiously
focused on mobile.
In fact, it's so focused on mobile that it's helped to launch the
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project into the mainstream. What you'll notice on most mobile
devices, is a little tag that says 'AMP' meaning that the post adheres to the AMP specifications,
which you can find here.
This is similar to Facebook's push into Instant Articles. What
this should all convey is the importance of a mobile-first design and to ensure that your site is
responsive across a number of platforms that include desktop, tablet, and of course, mobile.
Selecting a theme, or develop a design that will work seamlessly across any device and platform is
a vital principle in todays websites.
By building a mobile-first design, you're looking into the future
and ensuring that you're conforming to Google's wishes. Those wishes are steeped in reality because
mobile devices have become so important in our lives, that you simply can't overlook mobile
usability when thinking about SEO, especially when talking about SEO for the future.
Here is the Google link to test your website to see if it is
mobile responsive according to Google - https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
Rule #8 -- Location,
Location, Location (Of Your Links, Of Course)
In real estate, they say that it's all about location. Well, when
it comes to SEO, it's also about location, when speaking about your links of course. You want
people that are linking to you from all over the world, but you also want to ensure that relevant,
high-quality content is linking to you rather than low-quality garbage.
What websites those links are coming from is extremely important.
For example, a link from Forbes is far more valuable than thousands of low-quality links,
especially when that link is coming from relevant content. That doesn't mean you need a link from
Forbes to run a successful SEO campaign, but it certainly doesn't hurt to find authority domains
that will link to you.
Building a healthy link profile is a difficult thing. If you focus
your efforts on great content, those links will come naturally over time. It might take a very long
time, but they'll eventually come. However, you also want to help speed things up if you're looking
to make faster progress.
Focus on the content, also focus on the links that for a business
owner only an experienced SEO specialist can help you with if you can’t undertake that task
yourself… Not low-quality links; high-quality authority links from amazing content. It's not easy
to undertake this task yourself but it is not impossible. Not by any means. It's going to be a
massive headache and tremendous amounts of work, but very much well worth it when near-limitless
amounts of free organic traffic come flooding into your site over time.
To learn more about our SEO services and how we can help you