Grasp the Principles and Enjoy the Ride
Precognition of Google Phantom Update
Google organic search ranking is like a roller coaster. But I assure you, it is the most scenic one, and the excitement level really depends on the scale of black hats’ activities.
To take an exciting yet safe ride, it’s really not about gaming the system, rather about being familiar with its mechanics; because, no matter how thrilled you want to be, you don’t want to be injured or thrown out. The Google roller coaster is even dynamic; the more black hats, the more twists and turns the ride has.
Pinpoint the Fundamentals
Google has its well-known webmaster guidelines that state basic principles. If you can grasp them, it’s as if you could predict the patterns of its dynamic algorithm.
These guidelines may sound boring for a roller coaster; well, let me show you something tangible and meaningful.
You may find “keyword stuffing” or “hidden texts and links” ridiculous, but I was an early adopter of SEO and have witnessed every Google update first-hand. I regret to say that “keyword stuffing” and “hidden texts and links” were everywhere in those days. Then Google launched its Florida Update in November 2003 to penalize these “low-quality” 90’s SEO-tactics.
How can you disregard this “boring” fundamental principle then?
Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
If you were far-sighted, you would browse your website as a visitor. If you expected visitors to stay, you would never give a thought to keyword stuffing.
When you understand this primary principle, you will optimize your site with ease.
Plan for the Long Haul
You may find January 2012’s Page Layout Algorithm Update beyond understanding. Does Google not want to make money if it penalizes high ratio ads (including AdSense) above the fold?
Google’s objective is to make money and it is very good at doing so, but it is more forward-thinking and aims at long-term success. Visitors may not click ads straightaway, but they would stay longer and come back. In the long run, the ad revenue would increase.
AdWords is Google’s main source of revenue. Google knows how important its ad revenue and unparalleled algorithm are and its ultimate goal has never changed; that is, to return the best search results and remain as the best search engine, rain or shine. Google never forgets where it is coming from.
Google’s Income Statement Information (In millions)
|Total Advertising Revenues||$43,686||$50,547||$59,056|
|As % of Revenues|
|Google Network Members’ Websites||27%||24%||21%|
If you hoped that your visitors would remain on site longer and return again, you would never aggressively display a lot of ads above the fold just for short-term gain, and you would stick to the primary principle: make pages primarily for users.
It’s Your Genuine Nature that Counts
It happens too often that excellent ideas start promising but end up disappointing or even devastating, because they drift away from their original purity.
Our blog is lively, because it has comments. Some of those who comment have done so as part of their blog comment marketing strategy for their websites, commenting on our blog posts and getting a link back to their sites that readers might follow. These genuine comments and activities connect blogs and bloggers, bringing them together.
If the purpose of leaving a comment was solely to get a link back with minimum effort, then the commentator would not read the post or would copy and paste a generic comment.
Some may even go the “extra mile” and use script to customize the comment message with a post’s title or even its description / excerpt; or compose a variety of sweet universal comments that are designed to boost the recipient’s ego.
Blog commenting started as innocent and promising, but it has been misused by short-sighted black hats.
If you read through and left a comment that added value to a post, other readers would read your comment and follow your link. The post author would visit your site, read your post, or even leave a comment.
It’s your genuine nature that will bring visitors to your website. If what you do keeps to the point and is primarily for users then visitors will come and will stay.
Friend Rather Than Foe
Do you not find that Google actually shares a common goal with you and the entire blogosphere?
You are eager to show your value and uniqueness to this world. If your web page was ranked on top for a search term, you wouldn’t want the surfers to find out that you merely copied someone else’s ideas, would you? You wouldn’t want scraper sites to outrank yours, would you?
As a surfer, when you searched a term, you would want to quickly find exactly what you were looking for, wouldn’t you? You wouldn’t want to go through pages and pages of irrelevant and similar results, would you?
Google has put in a lot of effort in order to reach and stick to this goal. It now even applies artificial intelligence to its algorithm. Well, heroes emerge in troubled times. In this murky SEO industry, only revolutionary technology is able to emerge and lead the way.
Every move has its pros and cons. Google may also harm innocent bloggers in its battle with black hats; however, without fighting against black hats, the whole blogosphere would be foul. Fewer and fewer bloggers would spend time creating original work and passing on their knowledge.
If we took off the colored glasses we may wear unconsciously and looked at Google with a pair of unbiased eyes and perhaps with a bit broader mind, we may realize that Google was not the cause and not our foe.
Neither do we need to worship it, nor pit ourselves against it. Google is like someone we would sit together with peacefully at the same table and work together with to make the world a better place for innocent people.
The Google roller coaster is not scary or boring, but exciting and fascinating, as long as you remember one idea:
Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.