SEO has changed pretty dramatically over the years, primarily shifting from an automated strategy of developing links using time-saving techniques like Scrapebox, content spinners and signature links on blog post comments to a strategy of content development and distribution. This is not due to SEOs becoming more interested in the value of presenting quality information, but instead has happened due to the reaction of Google developing methods of discounting SEO techniques that cut corners. Google is reactionary, meaning that they have a working algorithm that positions websites in certain places due to a variety of reasons and elements. This algorithm is constantly being updated to discount the elements that are created using methods that Google believes are not “best practices.” The idea of “keywords” comes from the obvious fact that if you write about a subject you will probably use specific words that describe that subject. If you create a link to content on another website in the method of Wikipedia, you will create that link using those keywords in an attempt to make the link easy to understand. Once SEO companies realized that using the keywords numerous times within a piece of content gained higher rankings, or that using the keyword in links that went to a website made that website seem more authoritative on a subject, Google began the process of analyzing the weaknesses of the algorithm that were being exploited. If using the keyword numerous times in the content was the weakness that was being exploited, Google changed the method of analyzing the content’s subject. If links were being exploited, Google developed a better method of analyzing the value of that link to the subject without completely eliminating that aspect of the algorithm. If meta-data is being exploited, Google eliminates the value of meta-data. This process of continually reacting to the methods used to specifically develop rankings using the least work possible has lead Google to employ tactics for understanding content that are so evolved t this point that there is almost no point in attempting to game the system. The best SEO tactic is to develop content on a subject that you want to rank for, and then post it to the website that you want to develop rankings for. Essentially, “being the best” at a subject is the best way to rank for that subject.
This by no means is an argument against SEO, as you may have heard many times online. Those frustrated with the inability to employ shortcuts to develop rankings fast and cheap have gone out of their way to spread the idea that there is nothing about SEO in 2017 that works. This is obviously wrong, because Google is not positioning websites at the top of rankings randomly. If SOMETHING is being used to judge the value of one website over another by a search engine, then “search engine optimization” is still an effective tool at getting to those positions. The only thing that has changed are the things that Google is looking for, and the strategy you must use to convince Google that you are the best. In the past it might have been the number of links that you had, and now that is no longer the case so you must abandon that strategy and move on to one that works. The modern SEO strategy that develops rankings is content development, and the presentation of that content on your website. There is no easy way to generate this content, you cannot steal it or borrow pieces of other people’s content then change it a little bit. You can’t stuff keywords into that content and use tricks to make them more powerful like bolding the text or italicizing it. Instead of concentrating on the tricks, just concentrate on the subject. If you sell a product or service, you are an authority on that product or service. Your competition that sells the same products are also authorities on that topic, and Google is going to put the website that it feels is the best authority on the topic at the top of the results. Your job is to use your expertise in the subject to educate the public on that subject. If you sell hammers on your website and want to rank for the phrase “hammers for sale” then write content on your website about hammers and selling hammers. Write about what is unique about a hammer, and why you are the best choice for someone looking to buy a hammer. Do more of this than your competition and you will end up at the top of the rankings.
The modern SEO strategy is actually a little more involved that just generating and posting content on your website, and actually involves how that content is distributed and how it is linked to by other websites. Here is the best way to go about it in a nutshell. Develop the best content on the subject that you want to rank for that you can. Write it as professionally and in-depth as possible and then post it on your website in a position that is easy to find by people searching. Then write other pieces of content on the same subject and post them on other websites that have a theme that has to do with this topic. Posting this content to a website that has nothing to do with the topic just because they will let you post it there is literally wasting your time. Google looks at the topic of that website to see if it is also an authority on the subject. If it is an authority on hammers, then the posting of your content there has value. If the website has nothing to do with hammers, then there is little value there, and Google will not give much consideration to the site. Every place that you post content on your topic should be analyzed for the value it provides to you on your subject. If it doesn’t provide any value and people would not go to that site looking for this type of information, then don’t waste your time. When you have identified a website that has value to people on the topic you are writing about, then post your content and link back to your website from there. Do not necessarily try to stuff keywords into those links, if it is totally appropriate then do it but if it isn’t then just put a basic link back to your site as the source of the info. Get as specific as you can in these posts, meaning that if it is an article on the specific parts of the hammer, then link back to your site to a page that discusses the parts of a hammer. Do not send every link back to your home page, because chances are that your home page is actually the least specific page on your topic in the whole website. If you are convincing Google that the information is coming from this particular source, then name that source specifically with a link directly to that page.
The last step in completing the modern SEO strategy is “seeding distribution.” This essentially means “getting the word out.” You want people to know that your content on your site exists, so you have to tell people about it. Since social media is online, that is probably the easiest way to seed content that is online. Go into social media profiles and talk about the content then provide a link to it. Go into social bookmarking sites and spread the word. Try not to just spam sites with links, and instead engage in conversations about the topic then reference the link where you discuss it more in depth. Do this for each and every piece of content that you consider valuable, be relentless and do not try and hurry the process. Basically, create the best content on a subject and then tell people about it.
Rankings in 2017 are developed using a content distribution strategy. All content must be unique and trying to get credit for copied content is worthless to developing rankings. Dumping a link into something that is posted on a million sites in the same format is going to get you only one link worth of consideration, whichever one Google finds to be the most authoritative on that topic. SEO is about doing what works and not wasting time doing what doesn’t work. Think about it that way, do the work and you will see the rankings develop naturally.