Are the Old Rules of SEO Really Dead?

Since the rollout of Google’s most recent set of changes, website owners have been left scratching their heads. The old rules of SEO have certainly changed, but if you’ve been using your website for the right reasons, the rules may have changed in your favor.

Think of it this way. With each search update, Google is attempting to mimic the real world of business. Quality businesses generate buzz because they provide superior products and valuable services for their customers. Businesses without a history of outstanding products or support go unnoticed until they “pay their dues.” Every business has to prove itself. That’s not the way it used to be back in the early days of search.

Remember when Google search results were full of low quality sites? If you conducted a search on “how to save money on car insurance,” for example, hits often included sites filled with spam and poorly written articles or stories plagiarized from higher-quality outlets. Finding quality information meant hunting through a sea of AdSense and affiliate sites before finding useful information.

According to Google, along with big updates, it revises its search algorithm more than 500 times per year. Many of these revisions draw the ire of website owners who believe that they are being unfairly punished. The “Google versus site owner” tug of war will likely continue forever, but what is clear is that websites that exist for the right reasons will ultimately be rewarded.

If you’re committing resources to your blog, you hope to see a return on your investment. There’s nothing wrong with that, but your primary goal should be to educate first and advertise second. Here is how:

1) Concentrate on quality content. Content should be original, high quality, free of basic writing mistakes, and of reasonable length. 350 to 750 words is optimal.

2) Take it easy on the ads. If your goal is to monetize your blog, fine. Just don’t overdo it. A few AdSense ads are OK but the days of pages filled with ads are ineffective, frowned upon by Google, and most importantly, a big reader turnoff.

3) Provide a wealth of information. The more your site illuminates and adds to the body of knowledge on a subject, the more opportunities you have for Google to notice. You’ll see growth in your traffic numbers as users return to read more.

Search engine optimization is a rapidly changing discipline that most business owners don’t have the time to keep up with. Don’t be afraid to hire experts to help you in areas outside of your expertise.

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