SEO has evolved over the years. Before the days of Google, Internet marketing was a case of going out, shouting about your website and trying to get others to visit you.
Then Google came along and everyone forgot everything they knew and started buying links, only caring about Google and trying to get to number 1 in its rankings.
Well, Google got smart and now targets people who buy links and removes them from its search results.
There are also other signals which determine rankings. Recently Google announced that the 3rdbiggest ranking factor was AI (Artificial Intelligence), where user signals are used to find the best result that matches a user’s intent and ranks those first.
It no longer matters that you have 1 million links or a user’s search term as your page title. If your site doesn’t actually answer the question, you won’t rank.
To get traffic in 2016, you need to start thinking like 1997.
Pre-Google, to get people to your site you had to:
- Interact where potential visitors were hanging out and join in the conversation
- Do ABL (Above the Line) advertising to tell customers about your site
- Build a brand that people are willing to talk positively about down the pub with their friends
- Make people’s lives easier
These tactics haven’t really gone away, but people found quick and lazy ways of beating Google and getting to number 1.
Google has caught up and is now very good at stopping this. It’ll be even better when the Penguin real-time algorithm roles out, so it’s time to stop thinking about ways of cheating the system and concentrate on growing a really great business. Sort out the technical stuff and then go back to the 1997 way of growing your business online.
Ever wondered why Amazon ranks really well in Google? It’s because Amazon started out before Google and still uses the same tactics the company used in 1997. Amazon never really tried to cheat Google, so the company’s never had a penalty to lower their rankings.