Why is SEO getting harder? and we don’t even know why. It feels like the rules have been changed overnight. Backlinks are just not as effective as they used to be, so you need to find other ways to get ranking if you want your site on the front page of Google. (Something we read about ALL the time)
Why has SEO stopped working?
What’s causing people to stop ranking in 2021 when they dominated the search engines two years ago?
The truth is, Google has simply clever & gotten more aggressive. Now, instead of just looking at basic user experience metrics like they used to, Google is looking at everything. The whole user experience matters now, not just how many backlinks you have or what social media sites are sharing your content.
The days of sticking to the silly rules of writing content over 1000 words have gone, most likely forever. Churning out daily blogs that have no engagement or interaction? Gone, long gone!
Once upon a time, to rank in Google was about slapping a website link on any website, it didn’t matter. The more the merrier but in 2021…. dead, doesn’t work. It wasn’t about having the best content on the web, it was about spamming every website imaginable. But in 2021? It’s not even about how good your content is anymore, Google looks for engagement and user experience on the website that mentions yours, what happens if people don’t click the link or engage with the content that mentions you? Nothing!
Your site won’t rank no matter how many backlinks you have or social shares you get because Google knows that the link is for SEO reasons, not to help a reader to learn or educate them.
Google has changed the SEO game?
Google has been taught by humans, they have software like Chrome, Google Analytics, Webmaster tools, Google my Business. PPC (AdWords). Google’s algorithm gathers all of the user data to work out if a website can be trusted to show on the first page of the search results, the fewer humans engage with the content, the less it will help any website rank in Google.
Until a searcher in Google hits your website, it’s not your client, it’s Googles. We have said for years, Google has to trust you. Provide quality not quantity. Somewhere between 70% to 80% of visitors are not your clients, they will leave, viewing your website for between under 15 seconds. What do you show these people? Great content in the right places, visible calls to action and social sharing options (arguably).
Google has added further changes to make it harder for websites with poor quality content or too many ads around the pages can rank well in Google. (this is years old).
How does Google know what is good quality content? Humans tell Google, through the use of a Search Engine., Analtyics & Chrome which in itself is fancy spyware, everything is fed back to Google This is why your website needs an SEO strategy, “You can’t just pump content out there and expect to rank.”
What is Good SEO Content?
This is where Google nails the algorithm. It’s not just about having content with 3000 words, boom you are ranking in Google.
Having lots of social shares is irrelevant for SEO, although it can help generate traffic but for SEO reasons, it doesn’t really work! Why not? how many people have completely open, and public profiles? How can Google check what is shared on profiles that have been locked down? Facebook has banned Google bots from crawling a massive amount of the social network! How can Google include social media in its ranking algorithm when most of it is set to private? i
Google does look at social signals but only if they are publicly available. If it’s private, don’t expect Google to crawl and index them unless it is open and public (unless there is some bug). Even if it does pick up a social share on a business page somewhere, how many people liked or shared it? If none, it’s not worth the paper it’s virtual written on. Google will ignore anything that looks like a B2B transaction anyway!
“Social signals in their current form offer no SEO value.” – Matt Cutts, Former Head of Search Spam at Google. (this was said years ago but still valid)
Good content is about standing out from the crowd but not being so different from what your industry leaders are saying! If you are saying exactly the same as an article that ranks 5th in Google, why would Google rank yours instead of that one? If it is too different and unique, then what is your source/value proposition? Are you really qualified to say something that’s totally different to everyone else in your industry? Google does check, with ease!
This is where most people fall down when they think about SEO. They forget the core fundamentals of Content Marketing; make sure your content stands out from everyone else, but not too much! People need to be able to understand it and engage with it straight away (without needing any help) if possible without reading too much like a novel.
How to gain Googles Trust?
You need to read about the algorithm update called ‘Your Money or Your Life
In a nutshell, it’s broken down into different areas, that all sync up to one thing…. Trust!
Expertise, your website needs to be trusted by your visitors. In order to be measured highly for expertise, your website must meet and exceed the needs of a majority of on-site visitors. This can be achieved by communicating with consumers in a way that positions yourself as an expert through content creation which will increase trust from potential clients or customers who need assistance with in this field you are promoting
In short: A successful business model includes building relationships based on quality over quantity when it comes down to substance rather than simply publishing something online because “you have nothing else going”.
Authority, Your site’s authority is determined by the number of experts or influencers in your vertical that are using it as a trustworthy source. Did any press mention you recently? Are there local governments and councils who might talk about what you did for them, do they list your service? It never hurts to get on good terms with suppliers too!
How do people contact you? Are your business details the same throughout the internet? Do you have social media accounts? Can people ask questions on these platforms or do they need to email, call or message you privately? Is your website responsive and work across all devices?
and much more.
Our SEO Conclusion
SEO is more time-consuming. SEO means that you have to improve your attention to detail. You have to get your hands dirty, so to say. SEO is much more than a 10-minute job.
The good news is that Google is still rewarding websites for doing things the right way, and understanding how SEO works can be of great help in growing a business online. The good thing about SEO in 2021 and beyond? Once you are ranking while showing trust, providing good quality and generating engagement….. You tend to rank for a long long time, you just have to work for it.
Now go ahead and show off your motivation or newfound SEO enthusiasm
SEOmers is known locally as the Ipswich SEO and Marketing Company. We're known for straight talking, no fluff approach about website performance. If you would like a chat about your website, please do get in touch on "01473 760140". Although we now service global clients, our roots are still very much focused as a local digtal marketing company based in Ipswich.
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