Have you ever spoken to someone involved with the creation of websites who has adamantly told you that search engine optimization (SEO) is dead? The person who told you this is most likely basing their assumption on the fact that Google constantly makes changes to their algorithm, but this hasn’t changed the importance or validity of SEO in the slightest.
Like the belief that content should be placed higher up the page in order to rank well, the old “SEO is dead” myth is one of the oldest ones in the book and is frequently thrown out there whenever drastic changes are made in the way that Google indexes website content. This doesn’t mean that SEO is dead, it simply means that the way we optimise content needs to change and that new techniques replace old, outdated ones.
Still not convinced? Then, perhaps you or the company you have employed to undertake your SEO strategy are using some of the black hat techniques that Google regularly changes its algorithm to stamp out. Have you been hiding content by repeating your keywords over and over in white text on a white background? Have you been creating websites with no content, then linking to it a bunch of times to achieve rankings? Have you been stuffing your content full of keywords to the point where it has been over-optimized? You can no longer hide from Google behind these techniques – instead, your SEO strategy needs to become cleverer and more ethical.
Do not listen to the naysayers who will proclaim that SEO is dead until they’re blue in the face, because it is simply not true. Whilst there are techniques that have been historically beneficial for SEO, they are no longer achieving the results they once were. Instead of SEO being dead, however, it is just simply time to move on to new techniques and strategies. As long as there are search engines, there will be SEO.
Have you ever gone to see someone who proclaimed himself a search engine optimization (SEO) expert only to have them tell you that they’re sneakier than Google and can hide their tactics at the click of a finger? You should have gotten up and walked out of the room at this point, seeing this SEO “expert” for what he really is – a fraud.
This is an SEO myth that has been around ever since optimizing websites became the thing to do for increasing your search engine ranking. People think that they can get around the system and use some unethical SEO techniques in order to get a leg up – and that the search engines will never have any idea of what they’re up to. Unfortunately for them, Google is a very advanced search engine – each year, its algorithm is getting smarter and smarter in order to wheedle out the SEO wrongdoers.
Still think you’re smarter than Google? Look at it this way – Google is very quick, for example, to recognize patterns in link building (a black hat SEO strategy) and, if they detect anything unnatural with yours, you could find yourself the recipient of a ban. Google can also identify duplicate and thin content – many people also believe that it can almost understand what makes good SEO content and what doesn’t (obviously favouring sites that are good).
Even though dabbling in black hat SEO techniques is the best way to get yourself a one-way ticket to having a banned website, there are still plenty of “experts” out there who think that they can beat the system. Think about the SEO techniques you are using, and remember that Google can always trace them back to your website.
One of the more often overlooked SEO techniques is that of internal links, but it is important to utilize this in the optimization of your website as it can really help to boost your page ranking. But what are internal links, and how are they helpful to an SEO strategy?
Basically, internal links are hyperlinks that direct visitors to the same domain as the one that the link exists on (you tell visitors on one page of your website to go to another section). But what exactly do internal links do for SEO?
- They can ensure that your website is completely searchable by search engine spiders
- They can help to build the relevancy of a page for a keyword
- They can help to increase the page rank of your internal pages
You have to, of course, set up your website properly for internal links to be useful for SEO. How would you do this?
- Text navigation: having this on either the top of left hand side of the web page is highly useful for SEO, as this is what the search engine spiders index first.
- Footers: also useful for SEO because the search engine spiders index these areas, it is important to keep your footers clean and minimal.
- Inline text links: considered the most beneficial for SEO, these are links placed within the content of your website and imply to the search engine spiders that it is highly relevant.
Whilst external links are great for SEO, they are, generally, only effective in boosting the page rank of your home page and one or two of your other bigger pages. When it comes to applying an SEO strategy to the entirety of your website, you cannot go past the use of internal links.