SEO Strategy Is a Moving Target: Are You Missing It?

Where your corporate website falls in a search engine is crucial. The first result will get double the traffic of the second, and the second gets triple the traffic of the fifth. Much like baseball, it is a game of inches. In an article for Computerworld, Lamont Wood explores how to keep your SEO strategy up to speed in the modern world, particularly where Google is concerned.

A Trip to Google’s Algorithm Zoo

Google has some simple animal-related names to remember its search algorithms updates by, such as Penguin and Panda. These algorithms are designed to keep less legitimate sites from getting to the top of a search list. As a matter of fact, many of these actively try to suppress less legitimate ways of garnering clicks. These less legitimate ways of doing business are referred to as “black-hat.” The inverse of this is “white-hat,” which seeks to create genuine content and utilize search engines to get their websites higher up on the list. The war between them is what shaped SEO as we know it today as companies like Google try to limit black hats from spamming search engines.

The whole point of these two methods is to try to increase site traffic, but not use practices that can trigger penalties for practice:

There are two kinds of Google penalties for trying to game the system, explains [former Google search engineer Vanessa Fox]: manual and algorithmic. Manual penalties are levied against sites that have been flagged by a human employee of Google. They can range from reduced search rankings to complete deletion from the Google database, and are accompanied by notices placed in the site owner’s Google Search Console. The owner can apply for reconsideration after fixing the problem. Figures released by Google in 2014 showed 400,000 manual penalties per month, of which fewer than 5% triggered a reconsideration application. The rest were presumably black hats who abandoned the penalized URLs.

The latter algorithmic penalty comes from a more automated approach. This penalty occurs from cumulative negative rankings on a site and requires the owners alone to fix the problem. This can be avoided thanks to SEO firms that deal directly with increasing the company’s rankings and getting things, such as bad links, off the site. An added problem is that SEO firms themselves often are scammers. So–tread lightly.

Taking the white-hat approach to the top typically means getting lots of people to link back to your site. It also means having content on your website that corresponds to top questions your intended consumer might ask. It is recommended to identify the top 10 questions consumers might have and then to create individual pieces of content to answer each of those questions. You may additionally want to use JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data (JSON-LD) to create schema that further define your content.

For additional information on this topic, you can view the original article here:

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