Getting to the top spot in Google is a much sought-after position for many marketing professionals – and many are willing to engage in the dark arts to do just that.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a marketing field which refers to the practice of implementing a series of strategies to ensure your website appears above competitors for certain search terms. The higher up you appear, the more likely someone is to click, and later, buy.
Google takes a variety of factors into consideration when ranking search results, from technical issues to relevance and quality of the content on the page. Over the years plenty of intelligent people have come up with ways to ‘cheat’ this system and boost their pages to number one – a tactic known as Black Hat SEO.
This has evolved over the years, to include stuffing a page with lots of the same keyword, link farms and hidden text or links. But as these tactics evolved, Google has got smarter.
Nowadays Google says the user is at the focus of everything it does when it comes to ranking pages. That means if a page satisfies a user’s query, and provides plenty of useful information in relation to it, chances are it will rank well. Traditional Black Hat tactics are now penalised and could lead to several long-term difficulties for the site’s performance.
Some SEO ‘professionals’ maintain that even in 2019 some of these underhand tactics can be employed to get you to page one. Google employs thousands of people to create and develop algorithms to detect and punish this, so you will only get away with it for so long.
Of course, Black Hat tactics may work in the short term. It might take a couple of days even for search engines to recognise such behaviour, but it’s guaranteed to go down like a lead balloon. Why sacrifice long-success for short-term gains?
Nowadays, every business has a website. But that’s not enough anymore. A staggering 93% of online experiences start with a search engine query. That’s a lot of traffic to be missed out on if Google can’t index your pages, or ranks them poorly.
In 2019, the key thing Google has stressed is the need for quality over quantity. That means identifying your target audience and giving them high quality, relevant content and products that satisfy their interest. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
There’s more to it than that, of course. Mobile optimisation, page speed and site structure, among other things, are also taken into account when Google crawls the web identifying relevant pages for its results. ‘White Hat’ SEO can be time consuming, but ultimately the rewards can be great for any business if the right strategies are implemented.
So make sure you choose wisely when picking what type of hat you’re going to wear this year.
Contact Loud Mouth Media now for an SEO Audit to find out how your site ranks in Google.