Google released an update to its Penguin algorithm last month. And naturally, bloggers all over the web are sharing their thoughts. I read one article that summed up Penguin 2.0’s impact pretty well: SEO “silver bullets” are no more.
Before Google’s search algorithms got as smart as they are now, there were plenty of backhanded, “black-hat” strategies SEOs could use to boost their rankings. Things like building inbound links from phony sites, stuffing keywords unnecessarily into content, or posting click-grubbing comments on external blogs.
Savvy SEO pros gave these tactics up years ago. But the truth is, even among so-called “white hat” techniques, there’s no one fix that will guarantee the search ranking you want—and keep you immune to Google’s changing algorithms.
That’s because the “silver bullets” of past SEO dogma focus on the short term. But as SEO’s evolution shows, rankings with true staying power don’t come cheap. You’ve gotta work for them.
What’s an SEO master to do? Keep sites fresh with regular, relevant content.
Of course, I can’t make Atomic’s clients do content marketing. But I can help them get started on the right track. Here are a few things we suggest:
• Set up a blog. And actually use it. We encourage clients to plan a calendar for publishing blogs—and make sure everyone understands who’s responsible for what (even if that means outsourcing to a copywriting team). Regular updates means Google will index your site more quickly—and you’ll build authority in your area of expertise.
• Schedule regular check-ups. I recommend an overall site review at least twice a year to ensure links are functional, verify information is correct, and adjust, if needed, to the demands of new search guidelines. This reveals less obvious problems inadvertently sabotaging your rank.
• Look at your numbers. A peek at your site’s analytics can show how users are engaging with your site. Are they finding you primarily on mobile devices or via social links? Mainly through mentions on other sites? These insights can help you build a better user experience over time.
Content marketing and ongoing site review aren’t the easiest ways to do SEO. But they’re the closest thing to a silver bullet we’ve got (more like a slow, strategically planned attack than a single bullet, really).
Best of all, they’re sustainable—they’ll keep you on top no matter what algorithm tweaks come and go. And if search result domination is what you want, the effort is worth it.
It’s time to stop searching for the next quick fix—and instead, commit to great content. Let’s get to work.
Need help refining your site’s long-term SEO strategy? Let the Atomic team help.