in wiseness comment

seo in 2013…

some up-to-date wiseness for website design

I have always liked Google and I have always disliked the trickier ways that people try to make their sites appear higher in the search rankings. I have always tried to make any site with which I’m involved, better sites for people and for ease of use and for common sense. Obviously there are basics that you need to complete for websites to tick the basic (and often technical) requirements, but beyond that I’ve always found that in the long run, if you make the site right for your customers, it will come right for search.

BUT you need patience and that’s where I think all the trickery comes from… Businesses compete and whilst you are not competing, you want to fix your search ranking, you want it done fast and you may not care how it’s done. So you ask people to apply what’s the current best SEO practice to your site and wait to see how it works.

The trouble is that the search engines catch up with you and the less genuinely useful things people do to sites. So your rank will drop if the fixes were only designed for search engines and not for users.  Thank goodness, that’s why useless link building has dropped off the agenda for the most part. The reason is that the search engines know what you’re doing and every day they are trying to ensure that only the genuine efforts towards having a good site are rewarded. The machine is getting more accurate by the day! Every Google update makes genuine efforts more important.

the good (SEO) news for the patient website owner…

… is that what really counts in search is now so much closer to what a good website should be.  Compared to ten years ago, search engines can now determine (say) five times better what is right and what is genuinely wanted by readers and those searching.  When you start a new site, there are the sensible meta fields to be completed in a helpful way and the structure of the site should aid seo not hinder (nor complicate) it. But then good old fashioned content should do the job.

Of course there are variations with different search engines and yes there are plenty of refinements and yes links to your site are critical but let’s face it, if you get your links from real sites which are really interested in what your site does, so much the better. An Indian or Belarussian travel site commenting on your MOT facilities never feels right does it!

My next posted comment is going to be based on how old fashioned PR helps with this…