In the past, Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, was centered around what are now called “black hat” practices. No matter what the content on your website consisted of, you could engage in these practices (keyword stuffing, paying for thousands of backlinks to your site, etc.) and Google would shoot your website to the top of the charts—and usually very quickly. Almost overnight, your site would appear out of nowhere in a number one or number two spot of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
These black hat SEO practices resulted in poor quality websites out-ranking the good sites that users were really looking for. Websites at the top of the charts weren’t necessarily the most relevant to your search, but instead were the most keyword stuffed and spammy websites that “tricked” Google™ into thinking they had quality content. While these websites could often achieve quick results in their SEO campaigns, the user suffered from poor-quality, irrelevant content.
... And Google™ took notice.
Over the years, they’ve changed and tweaked their search algorithm to target and reward the high-quality sites that users want to find. The websites that will answer the questions they have, and provide the user with useful information.
The Smarter Search Engine
Nowadays, Google™ is smarter and pickier about what is displayed in the SERPs. For a website to achieve a high rank, it has to prove itself as a legitimate site that Google can trust—one with quality information, updated content, professional images, and a great overall user experience.
While some people are still in the mindset that an SEO campaign should be a quick process that leads to almost instant results, the truth is that nowadays, slower is smarter. Think of it as building a relationship with Google. Since you now have to earn Google’s “trust,” SEO campaigns often take longer than they used to. SEO professionals are using all avenues to show Google that your site is a quality one.
For example, if Google™ sees that your site is listed on local directory sites, Google Places, and social media sites, it will start to develop trust for your business. Now take that, and add an active Facebook profile that interacts with customers, lots of online reviews, frequent blog posts, and regular updates, and you’re now a respectable company with a strong web presence.
So when you begin your SEO campaign, remember you’re building a relationship. It takes time, patience, and dedication. But in the end, the results you’ll see will be worth the wait.
Ashley currently works as a Search Specialist at Legnd. Starting out as a teacher, she developed a particular interest in marketing, SEO, and front-end development, and never looked back! In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and traveling with her husband, Garret.