The last couple of years Google has leveled the playing field with their Panda and Penguin updates, penalizing the black hat, and even grey hat, community for trying to trick the search engines. Gone are the days of short-cutting SEO to rank high in the search engines, especially Google.
It becomes a challenge to do exactly what Google wants you to do, since they are not specific enough to let you know what works best for rankings and what doesn’t. They do it for good reasons, having to protect the specifics of their algorithm to keep the black-hatters from exploiting its formula with short-cutting techniques.
Ranking high in Google’s search engine is like trying to play a basketball game with vague rules and getting the whistle blown on you from time to time when you break a rule that you didn’t realize was a rule. So to be a good basketball player on Google’s court, you have to watch the other players, the ones that are scoring a lot of points and not getting the whistle blown on them, and do what they are doing. They must be playing the game right if Google is not penalizing them, and letting them score a lot of points.
Like basketball, it is making sure you have the fundamentals down pat, watching your competitors and then building from there.
So what are the fundamentals of playing Google’s game? They are:
- Making sure the search engines can crawl your targeted pages. This can be montored through webmaster tools.
- Using targeted keywords in title tags, H1 tags, body content and images.
- Keeping a good balance of targeted keywords on your web pages. Not too many and not too few.
- Writing content that reads well, is not duplicated somewhere else and is for visitors and not search engines.
- Avoiding excessive internal links that dilute a page’s link juice.
- Obtaining outside links from reputable websites that are industry related.
- Mixing up anchor text from those outside links.
- Being active in several social networks.
There are many other little factors, in addition to those listed above, that contribute to a winning game strategy.
Bottom line, play by Google’s rules, watch the star players and do what they do. In the long run, you’ll come out as a winner.