Search Engine Optimization as we know it is terminally ill, and experts have predicted that by mid-2014, it will have been laid to rest. Does that mean we don’t need to optimize our sites? Not at all. We still need to practice good on-page optimization, but the most important thing bloggers can do to rank well is to reduce off-site SEO efforts and spend our time creating quality content.
As we go through the list of things we need to do to Penguin-and-Panda-proof a website, the next item on Google’s list of things that make a quality site asks, “Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?”
Remember, the new trend in SEO is to “forget about SEO.” And the way we do that, is by replacing old-school SEO tactics with high-quality content. I’ve always focused on providing original, relevant, and quality content on this blog. And guess what? None of the Google updates have affected my traffic. Not farmer. Not Panda. And not Penguin. And I don’t fear any future Google crack-downs.
Why? Because today’s SEO tip is to ensure your site is written by someone who is enthusiastic about the topic and ensure your content isn’t shallow.
So, basically today’s topic is how to create compelling content that is relevant to your audience, fresh, authoritative, and has some meat on its bones.
The problem with most of the sites that got “Google-slapped” by the recent algorithm updates is that they either contained unedited PLR (private label rights) content, had poor-quality outsourced material created for cheap, scraped content from other sites (duplicate content), or were just full of ads and links with no real content at all. Those are the types of sites Google wants to sandbox.
This is GREAT news for us, because real websites with real content will start to rise in the search engine results. The key to ranking well in the search engines is to become an authority blogger. Pick your blog’s topic, and write with authority. Consistently. That’s it. It’s very simple – not always easy, but simple.
Here are some tips for becoming an authority blogger:
- Be passionate about your topic. Enthusiasm is one of the key components Google is looking for in content.
- Post consistently. Write new blog content at least once per week (but the more often, the better). Try to publish your posts at about the same time of day, and if you don’t blog every day, post on the same day(s) each week so readers will know when to check for new content.
- Be real. Transparency is important to grow an online following. You must be honest and open on your blog. Let people get to know you as a person. Be easy to contact.
- Make your site easy for your readers. Use clear navigation. Have a well-designed site. Simplify your category structure – it’s best to use a limited number of broad categories and use tags for more specific searches. A blog that dozens of categories strewn down the sidebar appears overwhelming to readers. Here’s a post I wrote on how to make your site easy for your readers.
- Be generous. Give away your best stuff for free. Always think of ways to add value to your blog posts. Include actionable takeaways that your readers can easily implement.
- Keep up with (and inform your readers of) the trends in your topic. Be a student, but be an authority. One of the best ways to become an authority blogger is to keep learning about your topic. The more you know, the more you have to share with others. And the more interesting and relevant content you share, the larger your audience will become.
If you keep these six tips in mind as you build your blog, you won’t ever have to fear past or future Google updates because your site will be the type of quality site Google is looking for.