SEO: How does Google work basically? and four powerful principles
Google turns out to be a sexy lady if I can humanize it. Is it right? I believe so because Google plays hard to get. It changes itself all the time and we always try to figure out how it works.
There are millions of bloggers and the so-called SEO experts spreading series of information that simply isn't true. If you followed all the advice about SEO written on blogs, it's unlikely you would receive top listings in Google, and there’s a risk you could damage your site performance and make it difficult to rank at all. I used to be a victim. That's why I want to write this post to those who is like me before. Can you learn from someone who doesn't even know how to do it themselves? You can't. This is why you have to take the advice spread by blog posts with a grain of salt.
Don't get me wrong. I love bloggers. Actually, I used to be a blogger. There are bloggers out there who practice and blog about SEO, and do it well. But it has become increasingly difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff.
I wrote this post several months ago but didn't put on the publish button and actually I never thought that I would write this SEO topic or any strategies or tips related to SEO because I haven't never considered me as a SEO expert and Google has changed its algorithms so frequently. Although I was not a SEO expert, I still made several websites on top with different keywords by myself. Hence, I believe that I can be credible enough to write this post as a sharing point of view rather SEO expert's advice.
Let me tell you a secret about bloggers…and yes, it counts me on it.
Articles about the latest SEO updates, techniques or tips are often written by interns, assistants or even ghostwriters. Their job is to write articles. The majority of blog posts about SEO are rarely written by experts or professionals with the day-to-day responsibility of growing site traffic and achieving top rankings in search engines. Why? There are many reasons. In my case, I have been a business owner for my affiliate businesses, and online brands, while I still worked for the company (in the past), as my nature of work is to manage projects, delegate the tasks to others and leverage others' ability to complete the tasks and projects. In 2014, I managed over 20 different websites. Of course, I couldn't write all the contents of these 20 websites. My job was to set the keyword planning, layout the content with the main concept and content, then delegate the tasks to freelancers or my partners. It is hard to admit that but it is the truth. All gurus or experts in internet marketing have and manage many online business or websites. How can they do it by themselves? We need to admit that to know how to move forward! The art is how to plan and manage! However, I had to formulate a rule for myself as the contents related to Marketing, skincare, and nutrition had to be written by only me because they are related to health and beauty of the readers while Marketing articles could help but also destroy someone's career. I couldn't risk these topics to others and I couldn't risk my reputation on other people.
Interestingly, in each type of website or niche I ran different strategies and approaches for SEO and almost of them worked. For example, my cosmetic website, the SEO competition is so high, my strategy was to dominate all children keywords with the monthly volume search of 10 - 100. When I dominated such 1000 children keywords, I had at least 10,000 traffic monthly while my parent keywords would be on top as well. Understand?
Children keyword 1: how to treat pimples quickly?
Children keyword 2: how to treat pimples naturally?
Children keyword 3: how to treat pimples easily?
Children keyword 4: how to treat pimples immediately?
Children keyword 5: how to treat pimples simply?
Children keyword 6: how to treat pimples within 7 days?
==> Parent keyword: "how to treat pimples" will have many opportunites to be on top in Google.
What do you think is the best of this strategy?
Let me explain below:
Children keyword 1: how to treat pimples quickly? ==> monthly volume search: 10
Children keyword 2: how to treat pimples naturally? ==> monthly volume search: 30
Children keyword 3: how to treat pimples easily? ==> monthly volume search: 50
Children keyword 4: how to treat pimples immediately? ==> monthly volume search: 10
Children keyword 5: how to treat pimples simply? ==> monthly volume search: 40
Children keyword 6: how to treat pimples within 7 days? ==> monthly volume search: 100
Parent keyword: "how to treat pimples" ==> monthly volume search: 1000
So, the potential traffic will be 10 + 30 + 50 + 10 + 40 +100 + 1000 = 1,240
It is not 1,000 searches of the parent keyword, it is the total volume search of all related keywords starting with the parent keyword!
Another different approach was for my personal sharing of Marketing knowledge. It is totally different from any sharing in the internet even from my previous blog posts. I only put myself as a Marketing students, a Marketing newbies, or a startup owners, I asked myself what I should ask other experts, what I should know? etc! I didn't use Google Keyword Planner or any keyword tools to track. I just thought by myself and wrote anything as I loved and had experience to share. You know? Almost articles were on top Google with monthly traffic for each at around 200-400. Perhaps you thought this figure is not high but let think it again, if I had such 100 articles, I will have 20,000 - 40,000 monthly traffic.
Ok, this article is not about my SEO strategies, SEO approaches, or my achievement. In this article, we will discuss and learn how Google works basically so that we can understand how to play with Google.
But first, to understand how Google works today, we must understand a little bit about Google's history.
Old-school methods that no longer work
In the early days of Google—over 15 years ago— Google started a smarter search engine and a better experience for navigating the World Wide Web. Google delivered on this promise by delivering relevant search engine results.
Internet users discovered they could simply type what they were looking for into Google—and BINGO—users would find what they needed in the top results, instead of having to dig through hundreds of pages. Google's user base grew fast.
It didn't take long for smart and entrepreneurially minded webmasters to catch on to sneaky little hacks for ranking high in Google.
Webmasters discovered by cramming many keywords into the page, they could get their site ranking high for almost any word or phrase. It quickly spiraled into a competition of who could jam the most keywords into the page. The page with the most repeated keywords won, and rose swiftly to the top of the search results.
Naturally, more and more spammers caught on and Google's promise as the “most relevant search engine” was challenged. Webmasters and spammers became more sophisticated and found tricky ways of repeating hundreds of keywords on the page and completely hiding them from human eyes.
All of a sudden, the unsuspecting Internet user looking for “holidays in Florida” would find themselves suddenly arriving at a website about Viagra Viagra Viagra!
How could Google keep its status as the most relevant search engine if people kept on spamming the results with gazillions of spammy pages, burying the relevant results at the bottom?
Enter the first Google update. Google released a widespread update in November 2003 codenamed Florida, effectively stopping spammers in their tracks. This update leveled the playing field by rendering keyword stuffing completely useless and restored balance to the force.
And so began the long history of Google updates—making it hard for spammers to game the system and making ranking in Google a little more complicated for everyone.
Google updates and how to survive them
The great era of optimization in Google for online marketers is over and today ranking in Google has become extremely competitive and considerably more and more complicated.
In my point of view, Google is evolving faster and faster and it is not use to be a Google which we knew before. Google is an AI company now. It is smarter and smarter. It knows exactly who we are. Good thing is that Google is fighting to keep its search engine relevant and must constantly evolve to continue delivering relevant results and good experience to users.
In the past, Google was not as intelligent as today. Many so-called SEO experts put as much anchor texts as possible, external backlinks and internal links points to their money sites. Backlink system created another loophole exploited by spammers. In many cases, well-meaning marketers and business owners used this tactic to achieve high rankings in the search results.
Along came a new Google update in 2012, this time called Penguin. Google's Penguin update punished sites with suspicious amounts of links with the same anchor text pointing to a page, by completely delisting sites from the search results. Many businesses that relied on search engine traffic lost all of their sales literally overnight, just because Google believed sites with hundreds of links containing just one phrase didn't acquire those links naturally. Google believed this was a solid indicator the site owner could be gaming the system. Luckily I didn't follow that type of so-called strategy :D
What can you withdraw from this problem? Have you ever observed that SEO Guide usually published new version year after year?
For me, if you want to be in top rankings in Google, never follow one tactic, never trust someone easily. I don't intend to sell SEO courses or SEO guide books, and I don't write on the topic of SEO strategy or tactic to ask you do something for return. So you can trust me or not, it will be up to you!
Here are some lessons I can withdraw and would like to share with you:
1. If you want to stay at the top of Google, never rely on one tactic.
2. Always ensure your search engine strategies rely on SEO best practices.
3. Consider the factors of customer experience, authority, trust, and relevance.
Customer experience, Authority, trust & relevance: Contemporary four most powerful SEO strategies
Today, Google has well over 200 factors. Google assesses how many links are pointing to your site, how trustworthy these linking sites are, how many social mentions your brand has, how relevant your page is, how old your site is, how fast your site loads, how experienced customers feel… and the list goes on.
Does this mean it's impossible or difficult to get top rankings in Google?
Definitely No!!! In fact, you can have the advantage
In my opinion, majority of big players used to invest huge budget in hiring many people both inside and outside the companies, buying several updated SEO tools to build its huge backlink systems and millions of auto-generated articles. If we did right things, it would be not easy for us to compete with them.
However, now I strongly believe that in the long run we can win those competitors just by doing the right things and doing the things right.
Google’s algorithm is complex, but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand how it works. In fact, it can be ridiculously simple if you remember just four principles. With these four principles you can determine why one site ranks higher than another, or discover what you have to do to push your site higher than a competitor. These four principles summarize what Google are focusing on in their algorithm now, and are the most powerful strategies SEO professionals are using to their advantage to gain rankings.
The four key principles are: Customer experience, Trust, Authority and Relevance.
1. Customer experience
Until now, many big bosses and the world's top billionaires still refer that customers are king. They decide whether a business will keep existing. Easily understanding that if 100 audiences came your sites and they went out in a very short time, Google could understand your site was not good, not quality to the audiences. Just consider Google as an agency to refer a client or customer to a business for commission. However, all 100 potential customers complained that business, is it possible for Google to recommend that business again! I believe not! The same here for website ranking, if customers didn't feel good experience with your site, Google could understand and rate your site at low rate.
Trust is at the very core of Google’s major changes and updates the past several years. Google wants to keep poor-quality, untrustworthy sites out of the search results, and keep high-quality, legit sites at the top. If your site has high-quality content and backlinks from reputable sources, your site is more likely to be considered a trustworthy source, and more likely to rank higher in the search results.
Previously the two most popular SEO strategies, authority is still powerful, but now best used in tandem with the other three principles. Authority is your site’s overall strength in your market. Authority is almost a numbers game, for example: if your site has one thousand social media followers and backlinks, and your competitors only have fifty social media followers and backlinks, you’re probably going to rank higher.
Google looks at the contextual relevance of a site and rewards relevant sites with higher rankings. This levels the playing field a bit, and might explain why a niche site or local business can often rank higher than a Wikipedia article. You can use this to your advantage by bulking out the content of your site with relevant content, and use the on-page SEO techniques described in later chapters to give Google a nudge to see that your site is relevant to your market. You can rank higher with less links by focusing on building links from relevant sites. Increasing relevance like this is a powerful strategy and can lead to high rankings in competitive areas.
There are so much things to write and share but it is too long until now. I believe that these are the top 4 most powerful SEO strategies which can help you dominate in Google with highest ranking. So it is enough for this topic.
Thanks and best regards
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