Everybody loves shortcuts. Why wait around or take the long way when you can reach your destination much faster? We all have probably cut a few corners here and there because we didn’t have enough patience. The same goes when it comes to search engine optimization, short SEO. Everybody wants their website to rank at the top, to be displayed on the first page of search results and better even – among the top three.
Getting to the top is hard. According to research, only 5.7 percent of newly established websites will make it into the Google Top 10 search results within a year. And what’s worse – not only does it take a lot of time and effort to make it there, but it takes even more work to remain there. Google and other search engines constantly change and update their algorithms that decide who gets a spot in the sun, making it hard for web developers to keep up-to-date with the Dos and Dont’s.
Surely, there must be an easier way. A shortcut. Some kind of trick that can fool or avoid the algorithms and help shoot a website into the top rankings.
How SEO shortcuts work
When Google crawls or indexes websites, its algorithms look for quality content, links, keywords and much more. SEO shortcuts are designed to fool these algorithms into believing a website to be of high quality when it really is purely designed to make someone money.
One of the most common SEO shortcuts that has been practiced for years is buying links on other websites to generate thousands of backlinks in the hope that Google will identify you as an expert in your field. Article spinning is another strategy used to outsmart Google and Co.
Where SEO shortcuts lead
While some might get lucky and temporarily benefit from taking a few SEO shortcuts, the final destination is most likely Google’s sin bin. The search engine is designed to provide its users with the best possible experience – and that means providing users with answers to their search queries that are meaningful, valuable and useful.
Any attempt to manipulate the system means users don’t get the whole experience, thus would lose trust in Google. To avoid disgruntled customers, Google is quick to punish those that are trying to take shortcuts or cheat their way to the top. The worst penalty of all can happen to anyone – having your website kicked off the search engine results entirely. And once you have been put in the sin bin, it is hard to come back.
The regular updates of its algorithm means that Google is good at finding loopholes and closing them fast. What may have worked for you today, may get you in big trouble tomorrow.
How to practice good SEO
The reason people attempt to take shortcuts is clear. If your website is not seen, it doesn’t exist. However, being truly seen does require time and effort. The best way to appear at the top of Google search engine results is a solid, well-researched SEO strategy in which the following should be carefully considered.
Target audience – know who you want to attract and tailor your content accordingly
Content – produce high-quality content that is unique, informative and valuable
Keywords – choose them and use them wisely
Google uses more than 200 factors to determine how well a website is ranked in search results. If you would like to learn more about search engine optimization or need help with your website, contact the friendly team at Energise Web today. We are highly experienced in web design and website development and offer services including copywriting, SEO and advertising.