How to Improve Search Engine Ranking – The Best Kept Secret

How to Improve Search Engine Ranking – The Best Kept Secrethow_to_improve_search_engine_ranking_content_is_king


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?

  1. Write Relevant and Quality Content
  2. Gain Site Trust Through This Relevancy (consistent quality publishing)
  3. 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.checkmark

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 This post looks good and full of information, but there’s one very large problem with the it:

  1. the number 1 tip is to gain as many backlinks to your site as you can (outdated and incorrect).
  2. 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.”

  1. 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.


Good SEO

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 Foldcheckmark
    • 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.




Steve Cass at createwealthonline.comAbout Steve. 

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.


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  1. A Habil


    Hi, thank you for this article.
    I just started with my website and looking forward to be finally ranked in google.

    I know, you said, it takes time, but may I know, how long it will take usually? Plus, can you explain what i backlink? I always heard it but never understand it properly.

    Thank You

    • Steve Cass


      Hi A Habil–

      You’re welcome. Glad to help. Keep up the great work of writing relevant content to your chosen keywords and you will definitely see your pages start to rank in google.

      How long? Well, it will take google a few days before your pages begin to get ranked. Pages are ranked a bit faster if you tell google that they’re published. Follow this blog post from a Wealthy Affiliate ambassador on how to use the Search Console inside of Google.

      But I think that what you’re asking is ‘how long does it take before your published pages begin to rise toward the top of Google searches’ so your post is ranked on the first page of a Google search? Is that what you mean?

      If the post that you’ve written contains very relevant wording to your chosen keyword, you’ll begin to see it rise in Google ranking within three or four months toward the top. There’s never a guarantee, but the more relevant your writing is, the more likely it is to rise.

      But so much of this really depends on your competition. Research the competition that Kyle teaches in his training.

      What I also mean by competition is the non-relevant competition that is already ranked in Google for the particular keywords. You do a search for the keyword, and a bunch of non-relevant stuff pops in the results. The best way to combat this non-relevant stuff is for you to write VERY relevant stuff around your keywords.

      Here is a link to another article that I wrote called What is a Keyword Search Tool? that you might find helpful.

      Backlinks are links to your website that have been placed on other websites. Since Google would find your website mentioned on other websites, they thought that your website must be popular. But what happened is that you could just pay someone to add your website link to a thousand different websites. Google became wise to this and soon realized that just because your website link was found in multiple locations, this had nothing to do with how popular your site really is.

      So, backlinks are basically useless. There’s no better effort to make on your website than to create relevant content and then let Google advertise your page through their search engine.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting,


  2. jeffrey16201


    Interesting article on search engine ranking, interesting back links do not improve your search engine ranking but what comes to my mind right now is do back links hurt your ranking with search engines? This is a good way to share other article with your readers connected to the article they are reading, is this a good thing to do or should you avoid doing this now?

    • Steve Cass


      Hi Jeffrey–

      Sharing your links in an organic manner like you describe, simply advertising your article to like-minded people is certainly an awesome thing to do! That’s a positive ‘back-link’, although I wouldn’t call it a back-link, I’d just call it smart advertising to a targeted audience. Whereas the old-style back-link practice of paying someone to get your link out to a thousand or 10,000 sites most definitely not targeted and rather a willy-nilly method, scatter. They didn’t care whether or not your links went out to the right group of people.

      I don’t think that these positive links that you mention will hurt at all. As a matter of fact this is exactly what happens no matter how you tell people about your site, whether or not you use social media or other methods. But, your odds for gaining a wider audience are with the organic method of creating rich content, concentrating on user experience and visitor engagement. This is because of the natural traffic that comes from the search engines when you create your content in the manner in which people are searching.

      I really encourage you to read this article from one of the very early web gurus. He is still around today and has literally seen it all, and I consider him an expert — Kyle Loudoun, writing Are Backlinks Good for Ranking, Nope.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  3. Don


    Wow, great post! I appreciate how thorough you are. I love your comment about back links. I do no back linking and my traffic keeps increasing. As you stated content is KING. What you have to be careful with are the back link farms. They will do more harm than good. I guarantee you. I know I went through the back link farms early in my marketing – NOT GOOD! If someone is trying to make money online be courageous, patient, content and more content, and keep the site simple and clean. By the way – you are relevant!! Great post.

    All the best to you,

    • Reply

      Hi Don–

      Thanks for the kind words. It’s so important to me to be relevant. It seems that relevancy in writing web content is something that is NOT going to go out of style! And thanks for sharing your confirmation about how backlinks are no good.

      I very much appreciate you stopping by today,

  4. Leonard


    Hi Steve. I really love your article. There is a lot of misinformation out there about what one needs to do to get better rankings. You have broken it down well. Good keyword research and good consistently written quality content is key to success. It is really simple when you think of it. Am also glad that Google did away with backlinks as a factor in ranking. It simply means back in the day one had to sift through garbage to find what one is looking for.
    Thanks, Steve.

    • Reply

      Hi Leonard–

      Thank you for the kind words.

      Yes, so very true. There is less garbage to sift through in finding the truth about how to win. The truth is so simple that people sometimes don’t want to hear it. It really boils down to what makes sense in communication, and finally Google’s algorithms are catching on and sifting away the unrelated moves like backlinks. Consistent writers will win.

      Thanks for coming by the site,

  5. Reply

    Great article, tones and tones of valuable and great information, your post really explains how this all works and I know that your readers will love what you are sharing because they will learn a lot from your post.

  6. Rameena abp


    Let’s put it simple: if you want to be successful online,

    you need targeted traffic, and the best way to drive targeted

    traffic to your pages is with good search engine rankings.

    However, if you want to generate traffic from the search

    engines, your pages must appear on the first results page

    for the keywords and phrases you target…

    • Reply

      The problem is that just getting search engine rankings so your site appears on the first page of search results isn’t where your journey begins. If you don’t have great, RELEVANT content; if your content isn’t feeding your target audience; if your pages aren’t tweaked with great User Experience items such as ‘your picture should be above the fold (at the top of the page)’, then…

      Paying someone to get you search engine rankings so your page appears on the first results pages of search engines won’t matter at all.

      If there are any wins because you happen to be on the front page of search results, they’ll be fleeting. They won’t last. The other stuff comes first.

      Including how you’re carrying on conversations with your audience on Social Media. The search engines watch ALL of this and rank you accordingly. You don’t want fleeting rankings. You want search engine results that really reflect your authority with your audience. It must be organic.


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