As of right now, one of the best ways to get traffic to your website is to have lots of other websites linking to it. Google especially factors in how many websites link to you, how much traffic they get, how many websites link to them, and how much traffic those websites get, in a tangled web that, somehow, defines the importance of a site and helps determine where it should show up in the search engine rankings.
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But if there’s one thing Google is good at, it’s finding out new ways of calculating the SERP for any given site. As soon as they come up with one way, “spamdexers”—those who misuse the search engine’s ranking method to get their pages listed higher—find ways to misuse it. When rankings were primarily driven by keyword popularity, these were the people who stuffed their META tags with Britney Spears keywords. Now they’re the people who use link farms to make it seem as though more people are linking to them.
But every so often, Google shifts things around so that new factors become more important in determining search engine rankings. By doing this, they keep spamdexers on their toes. They also keep legitimate webmasters nervous, wondering when the next shakeup will come and how search engines will next determine rankings.
However, there are a few foolproof methods that webmasters can employ to ensure that they stay close to the top in the SERP’s, regardless of the changes that search engines make.
The first is simply to have good content. Good, solid content that is both interesting and informative ensures that people will want to visit your website. Quality is the key. If your site is truly a leader among its peers when it comes to content, then word of mouth alone will be a powerful tool. Become recognized as the place to go for information on any given topic, and you won’t have to rely on clever SEO for your page rankings. Quality content will do the work for you. Good content, even more than good SEO, is what makes a website popular. And a popular website is one that shows up high on a SERP.
The second is to keep your keywords current. They may not be the only thing determining pagerank, but they are still an essential part of making your website easy to find. Keep keywords to the point; only include those keywords that people are likely to use when searching for a site like yours. Too many keywords dilutes the effect, too few means you may be losing traffic you could otherwise get. Know your most important keywords, and use them as often as possible without compromising quality.
Finally, update your website frequently. Again, keep the quality of the content in mind. It’s better to have good content updated once a week than iffy content updated every day. But a regularly updated website is a website that attracts not just new visitors, but returning ones. And returning visitors are much more likely to buy the products you sell or use the products you recommend than new ones.
These three tips can go a long way towards making sure that your website stays on top no matter how Google or any other search engine calculates rankings. When you use these three tips, you end up with a quality website. A quality website doesn’t have to rely on SEO gimmicks to become popular. That isn’t to say that SEO isn’t important; just that it isn’t the most important.
Author: Keesa Renee DuPre