Old VS New SEO Strategies
By Elon Law | July 11 2016
While SEO has been around the web for a few years now, SEO is ever changing and constantly improving itself. Through many of the recent updates in search engines, SEO practices has changed dramatically and affected thousands of businesses worldwide. Overnight, businesses found themselves blacklisted by Google due to classification of “black hats”, or bad methods, by SEO as a result of these sudden updates. Let’s take a look now at the new and old SEO methods. Keep in mind that we are shifting away from the old SEO – we want to reduce or eliminate these obsolete practices people used to build their site for SEO and move towards the newer SEO which search engines favour.
The Old SEO
The old SEO used to be much easier. Up until 2011/2012, here are some of the ways companies get their ranking boosted in SEO:
- Identifying high demand, low competition keywords
- Check for profitability
- Create a page around each of these phrases
- Heavily optimise the page – site architecture
- Build a lot of backlinks to the page, with quantity in mind over quality, and spamming exact keyword phrases
Such method led to great rankings and high profitability for web-masters.
For example, we first look at the number of searches for each term in Google.
There are 2400 searches a month, suggesting a relatively high demand compared to other search phrases around it. This can be a good term to target as the high bidding costs has validated the effectiveness of this term – companies are paying high prices to get ranked for such terms, suggesting its profitability.
Next, we create a page around the term. So we pick water fasting weight loss (2400) and weight loss surgery (22,000) as they have the most number of hits. We then take these keyword phrases and heavily optimise the our pages. It was easy – repeating the exact keywords in the entire page.
Next, optimising the page around the term, which includes backlinks, and anchor texts suggesting “water-fasting weight loss”, just for an example.
However, Google notices the abuse and stepped up its efforts towards curbing such practices. These are not user-friendly and do not benefit the end readers, and Google hates it. Google now penalises these poor pages and many websites have been hit as a result.
Google now places heavy emphasis on quality content. Automation will almost surely result in ban. SEO today is about doing the right things and making the rights choices, i.e. benefitting the end users.
The New SEO
With the many updates, here are a few things Google are looking for in websites:
- Google now wants pages to rank based on merit, not on webmaster manipulation.
- Google wants an algorithm based primarily on factors outside the control of the webmaster. This does not mean absolutely no control – we’ll talk about this in future posts.
- Optimisation is now heavily scrutinised by the new algorithm updates.
- Back linking and keyword stuffing are not targeted by Google.
So, what are the main ranking factors now?
New SEO ranking factors
The new SEO ranking factors can be split into:
In general, on-page SEO is the practice of optimizing the pages on your website to rank higher in search engines. They are highly dependent on both the content on your website as well as the HTML source code of the page.
Off-page SEO meanwhile refers to the practice of building signals which cannot be optimised on your individual web pages, and they usually occur in the form of building back-links and other external signals.
We’ll talk about on-page and off-page SEO factors in much greater details in future blog posts.
For now, it is important that we keep the old and outdated practices as far away as possible – not only will it not help us in business, it might even harm our business in the long-run, such as getting black listed by Google.
SEO is a practice that must be worked consistently in the long-run, and it may take 3-6 months to start generating results for your business online. For many businesses, SEO is starting to get increasingly important as people rely heavier on technology like Google. We’ll also talk more about the importance of mobile optimisation subsequently.