How to Improve Search Engine Ranking – The Best Kept Secret
If you’re asking the question of how to improve search engine ranking, you may be thinking about search engine optimization. I am going to tell you a secret that is not-so-secret at all. I’m going to share with you search engine optimization as it was designed to be.
Search Engine Optimization tricks should be the last thing on your list — or should be treated as secondary compared to this not-so-secret secret:
Content is King.
Tame the Wild West Known as the Internet
The internet is much like the wild west was in the U.S. a century ago (some of that remains!). The internet is a vast ocean of words and images that is mostly without someone in charge. Is there a way to tame this wild west of the internet?? That doesn’t seem so possible in the near future, but what IS possible is to create your own web page ranking destiny.
Gain Trust with the Search Engines
How is it that we gain trust with the search engines? Or, how do I make sure that my pages rank well with the search engines? It begins with writing excellent and very relevant content to your keywords. Next, it just takes time. It takes time for the search engines to trust that you are consistently delivering that excellent and relevant content. The search engines begin to slowly trust you as an author. They see your content and reference you as an consistent author.
What is the Search Engine Ranking Secret Sauce? How Was Search Engine Optimization Designed to Be?
- Write Relevant and Quality Content
- Gain Site Trust Through This Relevancy (consistent quality publishing)
- Become an Authority in Your Niche (gain trust with people and engage them)
The search engines want only relevant content to appear in their searches for people. As a website author, your site gains trust with the search engines over time by consistently delivering this content AND showing them that you are engaging people. You become an authority in your niche as you gain trust, readership and comments from people. The search engines take note of this and give your pages higher rankings because of this.
Why Trick Search Engine Optimization Techniques Should be the Last Thing on Your List
In the songwriting industry, studio mixers and producers have a saying: You can’t polish a turd. What they mean by that is that it doesn’t matter how much time, effort and sweet mixing tricks you throw at a song in the studio:
If the song lyrics aren’t strongly written as a story
If the lyrics don’t have good hooks (well constructed phrases and rhymes that are visual and tug on the heart and mind),
If the song structure doesn’t makes sense,
If the melody and music isn’t catchy and
If the song doesn’t have excellent musicians representing it in the demo,
The song just ain’t going anywhere.
So, much like the songwriting industry, writing for any niche market or hobby on the internet is the same set of ingredients: You can add all of the SEO that you want, but unless the post is very relevant to what the searcher is looking for, you’ve probably wasted their time:
If your post isn’t strongly written as a story around the chosen keywords
If the crafting doesn’t have any good hooks (well-written phrases and graphics that catch the eye),
If the post structure doesn’t make sense grammatically and is just stuffed with supposed ‘keywords’,
if the post isn’t catchy with titles and subtitles that have the ability to give the overall story by themselves,
If the article isn’t written to the best of your writing and composing ability,
Then the post just ain’t going anywhere.
Outdated SEO Techniques
At the top of any Google search (other than paid ads), you’ll find the most relevant posts and articles that Google can come up with for the search term that you wrote in the box. The search term I placed in the box today (1/2/2017) is How to Improve Search Engine Ranking:
The topmost site ranked for this search term (other than the paid ads) comes from https://www.thesitewizard.com/archive/google.shtml. This post looks good and full of information, but there’s one very large problem with the it:
- the number 1 tip is to gain as many backlinks to your site as you can (outdated and incorrect).
- the tips do not mention THE absolute number 1 way to improve your page ranking: writing relevant content
Don’t get me wrong, I am not getting down on the author at thesitewizard at all. I want to prove the point that Google is still ranking this and other sites for the title of this post with incorrect information.
The first proof I give you is to perform the same search as above and now look at what is in the box as the top advice found by Google:
“Follow these suggestions, and watch your website rise the ranks to the top of search-engine results.”
- Publish Relevant Content…
How does outdated information get replaced in the search engines? By YOU writing quality and relevant content to the search term.
Backlinks are Bad
There are so many sites and SEO experts that promote the use of backlinks as the number one way to get your site ranked. Even though this information is incorrect and obsolete, Google is still ranking these pages highly because there aren’t enough new ones posted with the correct information (the pages may also rank better because of other factors).
Google doesn’t rank backlinks, they rank good content. Just say no to backlinks.
Backlinks are not good for your site. The answer is that they USED to be good for your site because the Penguin update from Google was not yet in place. Why has Google placed this and other algorithms on their search engines? In order to filter out cheaters of the search engine system. Backlinks can easily be a cheat –a ‘blackhat SEO’ trick.
These methods represent a time when you had to jump through all of these hoops in order to try and gain notice for your site — because of those who cheat and use Blackhat SEO.
These cheatin’ ways are coming to an end…
Google Search Engine Update Algorithms to the Rescue
The only reason Google adds algorithms is to provide a better search engine product and to filter out those who cheat the system.
With the Panda update in 2014, Google made it official that backlinks are NOT the driving force of search popularity. Google had previously made the assumption that if a site had links to it from all over the internet, it must be naturally a popular site.
Google discovered that many people were cheating the system by having paid providers and other just spreading the website links and many sites were not at all popular with people.
I’ll let Wealthy Affiliate co-founder and internet marketing guru, Kyle Loudoun explain this in the article Are Backlinks Good for Rankings – Nope.
Among relevant content, all of us blog writers on the internet are responsible to do smart things to keep the reader’s attention and to not chase them away (user experience):
- Use White Space
- Don’t crowd a bunch of words together, write short one- or two-sentence paragraphs
- Keyword Phrase in the Title and the First Paragraph
- Write naturally around the keyword phrase – don’t stuff keywords in the body of the post
- Relevant Graphic Above the Fold
- A relevant picture or graphic at the top of your post
- Graphic has an alt tag so people can find your post when searching images
All the rest doesn’t matter any more! Just concentrate on user experience. Think simple.
Relevant Content is King
Relevant content is king. THIS is what the search engines are looking for. It is what they were DESIGNED to look for, but SEO optimization cheaters created the need for Google to take action with their algorithm updates.
I have several of my blogs placed on a page 1 Google search. And I didn’t need backlinks to do it.
Relevant content won before 2014, and relevant content wins even more today. Relevant content won before 2014 because internet marketing gurus like Kyle Loudoun understood what Google had originally intended.
Kyle and thousands of writers have been very successful in the search engines for years with ONLY relevant content – no backlinks. Which says that even though Google used to place a reward for those who used backlinks, backlinks have NEVER been necessary to rank a page high in a search.
Write, Write, Write
The other part of our secret as successful writers at Wealthy Affiliate is to just write, write, write! Go for it and just keep writing relevant posts. Write hundreds of them around legitimate keywords and key phrases. Forget about all of these SEO techniques and just write!!
Pay attention to what looks great to people and what scares people away, but as far as what you write:
Just be Relevant!
By you writing massive amounts of pure and relevant content around these legitimate keywords and key phrases, you are:
- Gaining site trust with Google because of your relevancy. You are telling Google, “Here I am!”, and you’re consistently delivering content.
- Showing Google that you are an authority in your niche. People continue to respond by clicking on your site and adding comments to your posts. And Google is going to rank your site higher because of this.
- Being rewarded with loyal readers! People love to read and to follow those who know what they’re talking about — those that deliver fresh and authoritative information.
The Moral of the Story
The moral of the story: Read Kyle’s post again, Are Backlinks Good for Rankings – Nope. I’ll leave you with a quote from that post:
“If you’re wasting your time on backlinks, which have next to no value on your business, you are taking away from time that could have been spent much better on your business. Like content, like user experience and like (visitor) engagement.”
— Kyle Loudoun
Get More Info
Find out how effortless it is to write great content for your website and read my full review on Wealthy Affiliate.
What do you think about this post? Do you believe that the time has come to concentrate on content rather than search engine optimization tricks? What is your experience with this? I would really value your insights and comments below.
A working guitarist, guitar designer, songwriter, worship leader and online entrepreneur, I have discovered that the key to online success (and success is more than money) is simply to focus on helping people be successful.