Doing SEO in 2013 is not the same as in 2017. The landscape has changed because of the many Google algorithm updates.
2018 is going to be even a harder year for SEOs. Google is discovering new ways of making it hard to manipulate their search engine.
However, as an SEO, you can’t just adapt to Google; you need to be a step ahead in the right direction. In other words, you need to find ways to do SEO and stay safe from Google’s algorithm updates.
There are many hundreds of ways to get yourself on the bad side of Big G; and not enough to stay on its good side.
In this article, I will give you a few tips on how to stay safe from Google updates and still have a strong SEO strategy.
#1 – Remember that Content is ALWAYS King
There have been many arguments on which is the most important factor for Google over the years. While studies have shown that backlinks are on the top of the list, many have ignored the value of content.
As important as they are, you cannot build links to your site and not have high-quality content to back it up. I might be biased as I am a content writer myself; but think of this way:
What’s Google trying to show its users? The website with the most links or the one with the best content?
Of course, the answer is the latter. Google is always going in that direction. And if at any point they figure out how to drop backlinks as a ranking factor, they won’t hesitate.
To stay safe from Google algorithm updates, you need to write ONLY high-quality content that answers the searcher’s queries. Thin content websites have had a hard time this year and will have an even harder time in the future.
#2 – Build Backlinks, High-Quality Backlinks
Google hasn’t figured out how to move on from considering backlinks a powerful signal of authority, relevance, and trust.
What they have figured out, however, is that not all backlinks are equal. 2017 has seen many small and large scale updates (although unconfirmed by Google, and named by the community as Fred) that targeted websites with low-quality content and many PBN links.
Not only that, but Google has forced major publications to “no-follow” all their outbound links. Your HuffingtonPost backlinks are almost worthless today.
That’s because Google isn’t looking to trust just big websites anymore, but more relevant, authoritative, and well-trusted websites in the same or closely related niche as you are.
Therefore, you don’t need to do large scale backlink building anymore. Focus your efforts on getting high-quality backlinks instead.
A simplified formula to understand the foundation of how Google works is simply this: Quality Content + Quality Backlinks = High Rankings.
Of course, there is much more to it than that (Brian Dean has talked about +200 ranking factors), but if everything fails; these two factors won’t.
#3 – Build an Authoritative Brand
Alright, I’m stepping into a very uncomfortable debate zone here. SEMRush latest study shows that social signals are given more importance than backlinks and content.
There is still a conversation on how big data studies such as this should be conducted. Correlation doesn’t imply causation, and SEMRush team has discussed in length their methodology. Yet, it still is unclear whether it is the right way to go.
What’s clear, however, is that Google is looking for new ways to organize their search results. Backlinks can be manipulated and there is no way for them to read and understand the content of the pages. The alternative could be giving priority to brands.
When you have a strong brand online, you’re given a head start on your competition. That is why you find many top-ranking search results with no single backlink pointing at them. But Nike’s running shoes category isn’t bowing down to your shoe blog.
It is important, not only for SEO but also for business, to have your brand positively perceived by everyone. Both your potential customers online and Google need to trust your brand. When they do, you will see massive increases in traffic, and you’ll be safe from Google algorithm updates.
#4 – Avoid Shadiness
Well, I’m pretty sure this goes without saying, but it needs more emphasis.
Although the conversation about hat colours is too outdated to be had today, the techniques aren’t. Many SEOs are still offering “safe” PBN services openly, but they all know how “safe” they are.
There is a reason why PBN links are getting more expensive than natural link building services. Google is finding and eliminating these networks on the hour. The most famous Grey and Black Hatters all admit that their networks need constant oversight. One mistake and the whole network can go down.
Now, with “white hat” link building, reaching out to bloggers for links is much safer. You don’t need to worry about where your links are coming, because you know exactly where you put them.
While it is still “against” the Webmaster Guidelines to do any type of link building; you are almost a 100% safe from any algorithm updates Google may have planned, (except the one devaluing all backlinks).
#5 – Use Social Media to Its Full Potential
Social Media is totally underused. At least, it’s not used the right way.
The whole purpose of doing SEO is to get your content in front of an audience. Social Media is where your audience hangs out when they aren’t looking for you. That’s why you need to be active there as well.
When I write content about making money online, I know that most of my audience is probably scrolling through their Facebook feed and not actively looking for it. They need to discover it, not by only by searching for it, but also by “stumbling upon” it.
Google cannot penalize you for driving traffic from elsewhere. In fact, if SEMRush study is 100% truthful, then they will reward you for that.
There are many instances where SEOs reported an increase in rankings after running Facebook ads, but they also report rankings to drop back when the ads are terminated.
Therefore, you are not only safe from future Google algorithm updates, you won’t need to worry about them all.
Staying safe from Google algorithm updates is a nightmare. That is if you aren’t playing by the rules.
Otherwise, you won’t have to check your Search Console every morning with a fast-beating heart. And you won’t have to punch your screen when Google drops unofficial updates that tank your website.
What other techniques do you think will keep you safe from Google in 2018?
Let me know in the comments down below!
Author bio:- Youness Bermime is a professional content writer and marketer. He owns WritersDo, a blog that helps new bloggers learn how to write and promote their content effectively. He also writes for ActionTakingMogul, a blog that encourages readers to take action and start making money online in many different ways.