So you have a great idea for building a website or blog, perhaps you have dreams of becoming a famous blogger or building an online business? Even if you just want to build a small website with no plans of going global at any time soon, the main point of a website is to be seen by lots of people. Search engine optimization or SEO as it is commonly known, is the term given to the art of making your website or blog more visible within the search engines. As most of us want our work to be seen by as many people as possible, SEO is a crucial part of building any website. The sad fact is that if you want lots of people to view your website, then you need to be ranked highly in the search engines, unfortunately some websites never make it. The first three positions within the search results will obviously get more clicks than the rest of the first page, but did you know that the first three results get up to 60% of the clicks for that particular search query? What is even more concerning is the fact that ending up on page 3 or more of the search results will leave you with less than 2% of the remaining traffic for that particular search.
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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Prior to 2016
So how do we make our websites more visible to the online world and what steps should we be taking in 2016? Well, in order to understand what steps we should be taking in 2016, it’s important to understand why we are doing these things and how they differ from the way that we used to do them.
Going back a few years prior to 2010, the search engine algorithm that Google used to calculate search results, worked very differently to what it does now. Ranking a website within the search engines was really easy, so long as you had knowledge of how the search algorithm worked. Of course it wasn’t long before lots of people realized that this was a really good way to make money online almost instantly. Back then the main thing to concentrate on was the main keyword that you were trying to rank for and how many “backlinks” you had pointing to the content that you wanted to rank.
Backlinks are inbound links that point to your content from another website and were one of the biggest ranking factors back then. You could have a newly created webpage rank on the first page of Google within a very short space of time, simply by having the keyword that you wanted to rank for repeated several times on the page in question and having tons of backlinks pointing to the same content. Software companies saw an opportunity to create backlink software that created thousands of links, for easy ranking. This resulted in lots of poor quality websites and blogs ranking at the top of the search results for highly competitive terms. Google wanting to provide the best experience for its users saw a desperate need to sort out the mess that had been created by people exploiting the search algorithm.
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Google’s Answer To SEO Manipulation
Google in an effort to combat this problem, introduced several updates to its search engine algorithm that changed the way that we create websites forever. Although the old methods are still taught by some so called “internet marketing gurus”, they are now ancient internet history and no longer work. In 2016, keyword stuffing as it is called and creating thousands of backlinks is something that we should definitely avoid.
So what are the steps that we should be taking in 2016 to ensure that we have the best chance of success within the search results?
Introducing The “Quality Content” Mindset
Well, you may have heard the term “quality content” many times if you have done any recent up to date research and this is one of the major ranking factors that currently affects our search position for any given keyword. Quality content differs from site to site, because Google now has the ability to look at the language that you use and the terms that you speak about. Every niche has its own language and specific terms that are discussed within that niche, Google is aware of this and analyses the language that you use in order to determine how well you know the subject that you are taking about.
Quality content is also about images, video, audio, animated gifs, anything that adds “quality” and value to your page. Adding images and videos will help make you webpages look more appealing but will also keep the site visitor on your page for longer, so long as the content is good.
Google looks at lots of different factors now in order to decide where to place you in the search results. They look at how people interact within your content and how long they stay on your page. The better your content, the longer people will stay on the page and the more likely they are to look at other pages within your website.
If your content is poor, then people will arrive at your page and then click the back button to return to the search results. This is called the bounce rate and having a high bounce rate is an indicator to Google that your content is poor or not relevant to the search results.
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