My website mentor advised me to toss out a book on search engine optimization (SEO) that I bought when we worked together on building out DYS Media.
“It’s worthless,” said Rebecca LeClaire with RL Marketing and Consulting in Saugatuck, Mich., even though the book was only a few months old and I had not revealed its name.
It didn’t take much searching to understand her guidance. Google changes its algorithm 400 to 500 times per year, and those are the updates about which we know. SEOs must maintain fluency in Google’s changing code as it owns nearly 90 percent of the online search market.
Professionals in such a competitive field can quickly fall behind after only a few days or weeks. After a month, they might as well move in with the Tanner Family on Muppet Treasure Island.
Danielle Miller with Miller Media Management offers a helpful infographic on the most consequential improvements and sanctions over the past few years. RankWatch provides a more exhaustive historical analysis.
Google became such a successful company because it consistently fills an elusive human need. It hosts a nominally free market in which vendors sell the best possible product or service to the highest bidder. Buyers, conversely, are always looking for the best possible product or service at the lowest price.
The tension between the two requires Google to constantly improve its algorithm.
Do you really want to compete with those who game the system by keyword jamming and stealing content for the numbers? It is an unsustainable quick buck. Customers will notice something wrong when the ad equivalency or publicity value doesn’t stack up to sales. Worse yet, Google might boot you from its search engine altogether.
LeClaire says you’ll cover yourself and eventually rank #1 on Google if you regularly load your site with meaningful content that links to even more relevant content.
She advises newcomers to do the hard work of best identifying and retaining customers by listening and speaking in their language as opposed to buying disingenuous lists and followers. Stay honest and you will have no trouble growing your business online.
How do you maximize your presence on Google?
Dave Yonkman is the President of DYS Media, LLC, former Washington Correspondent for Newsmax Media and Capitol Hill Communications Director.