It used to be that changes in SEO were predictable, inasmuch as Google would announce ahead of an algorithm update their intentions. These tweaks were few and far between, generally once a year and everyone would get shuffled in the SERPS, some losing rank, some gaining. Those affected negatively would bitch, they would moan, there would come shouts from the bleachers about the unfairness of the search engine giant trying to better the industry by improving its service, it's free service.
But eventually things would settle and those in the SEO community would trod further along in their collaboration to understand the almighty Google's ways.
However, with every inch gained, Google's algorithm changes came more frequently.
Now there's an update every other month it seems and the community is flummoxed and run asunder on how to cope.
And that's not the end of it. In a further feather ruffling, it's been announced that the infamous and heavy-handed Panda will now become a monthly update.
So, what does that mean for businesses struggling to rank legitimate sites under such tumultuous circumstances?
Sure, the black hat folks will feel the squeeze. But those guys are short-term players anyway, more interested in a quick buck than offering anything of value. Sites that depend on traffic for their business model to endure shouldn't fret these constant changes.
Because one thing remains the same in SEO: Quality content wins the game.
If you're in it to win it, you know that from quality content comes links and that, my friend, is the end goal.
I don't see how that ranking system can ever change. The popularity contest will remain . . . well, popular. Almost necessary. And links are the core of the popularity contest.
Merry Fools continues this effort in our work for clients and we see results. While quality content isn’t the end all be all to success, it is where you start. Of course, PR should be involved to get your content noticed once you're off the ground. But even that takes minimal effort, what with all the social networks available to promote content.
The downside of white hat SEO? The waiting. Attracting visitors is a waiting game. It can take months, it can take a year, more even. But eventually quality content gets noticed and gets links.
To prove this, I put up a Wordpress site of high-quality content last October. No links. No promotion. No advertising. Nothing but top-grade content. Four pages of completely boring stuff about electricity issues in the home.
Eight months later the site is drawing almost twenty visits a month and has obtained two links from two different external sources. That's peanuts, sure. But my point was proved.
I did absolutely no promotion for the site and the content, based on its own merit, was ranked well enough in Google to be found and those that did find it, found it of such quality to link to it, one of those links from an electrician.
It's an important lesson, because it's sometimes hard to convey to clients how quality content is vital to their online success. It doesn't even have to be a steady flow of content as I also proved. Just good ol' top-of-the-mill content to kick start the process.
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