How SEO has evolved (and why your rankings dropped)
In the “old days”, optimizing for search engines really was mostly a deep-dive into literal words. Meaning, you put those keywords on your page with the right density and you essentially are telling Google’s bots that your article is about that keyword.
Then, there was the matter of rankings. Well, Google saw the number of links to your article as a sign of quality. In those days, that was OK.
the problem is, the algorithm wasn’t very smart. And the marketers were smarter. So, they started keyword stuffing those articles, using article bots to crank out keyword-laced crap, re-wording articles to make them look different, and then blasting backlinks all over the place. All of it to fool Google into ranking the post.
That was SEO then. A whole industry sprouted up around this.
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Hell, I remember several years ago and, in my mastermind group, the tool du jour was this linking network scheme where you put in some keywords, some links, yada yada…. and this bot would go out and litter this blog network they had built with articles with backlinks to your site. I mean, it is embarrassing that we ever even paid this thing any attention. It came at a cost of like $97/month or something. Classic “internet marketing” pricing with the ol’ 7 prices. 😉
But, that thing is deader than dead now. And for VERY good reason.
It was easy to “game the system” back then. Today? Not so much. In fact, it’s pretty much impossible.
Today, Google is looking at so many more things. And as you’re going to see over the course of many of our upcoming issues of The Daily, all of it adds up to a system which is damn near impossible to fool.
In other words, you have to create content people actually WANT to see.
I know, I know…. helluva concept there. 😉
But, what this adds up to is that if you have more or less an average blog, or perhaps a small business site trying to attract traffic to your business using blog SEO, you now really have to bring your A-game. Like, seriously.
It is now necessary for even small business sites to bring some pretty high-quality content to the table in order to make a dent with traditional SEO. Your average run-of-the-mill blog post isn’t really going to cut it anymore. Not for page one kind of results.
Today, the key metrics isn’t really just about keywords and backlinks. Those things still matter, but they’re looking at a bunch of other things today that add up to the fact that…
We’re not really optimizing for Google anymore. We’re optimizing for human beings.
User engagement is really what matters now. It is a core chunk of your overall rankings.
Google is sitting there looking at a variety of different signals for user happiness with the search results. And it is reacting to them in real-time. If it looks as if result A is satisfying users more than result B, then result A will outrank B in the search results. This is where machine learning comes in because Google adapts on the fly.
It really is freakin’ incredible how Google works these days. I mean, as computing power and storage has gotten cheaper… and as artificial intelligence becomes more of a thing…. Google really is taking in a colossal amount of data and then altering search results in a real-time basis.
So, what WE need to do is know the kinds of things they’re looking at now.
But, I warn you, those things do not lend themselves to little SEO tricks and little things you can do with some sly little hacks to get those results up. Nah, it actually means you have to create meaningful stuff.
We’ll be covering all this. So stay tuned. 🙂
But, if you want to know why that content you might have created awhile back isn’t working for you so well now as it did in the past…. this is why. The internet has evolved. Search has evolved. Things are maturing. And, the cream truly does rise to the top.
It requires a different kind of strategy.
I’ll give you a big hint, but… The Redwood Strategy is going to be a big thing for ya here. Less content, more circling back and updating it, and big pillar posts. If you haven’t read that post yet, I recommend you do.
Cuz, churning out quantity with low engagement isn’t going to cut it anymore. If that’s what you’ve been doing, don’t be surprised your traffic numbers are falling.
Alright, we’ll continue tomorrow.