Search engine optimization (SEO) has changed a lot over the last decade but there is one way to make sure that your SEO strategy is sustainable despite future Google Search algorithm changes.
In order to prepare a successful long term SEO strategy it is first important to understand the difference between black hat and white hat SEO.
Black hat SEO consists of SEO strategies that accomplish a short term goal of gaining visits to your website but do so though “backdoor” or un-honest methods.
The first black hat method of SEO was known as “keyword stuffing”. When search engines first became popular they relied heavily on the meta keywords provided by the author of an article.
Because of that, website owners would put an excessive amount of meta keywords in each article, ensuring that their post would appear for numerous search queries – even search queries that were unrelated to the topic of the post.
The second primary black hat method of SEO was accomplished through the use of “bought links”.
Until the Panda update to the Google Search algorithm in 2011, articles with a high number of “inlinks” would rank high in Google.
In theory, this makes sense because if an article is valuable and unique, it would naturally gain more links from other websites.
Many organizations took advantage of this feature by purchasing links from other websites even if the links were unrelated to the content of the article.
Although these black hat SEO techniques may prove successful in the short term, they are not sustainable in the long run.
Imagine if you published 1,000+ articles and optimized them using a black hat SEO technique. Imagine what happens when Google patches their search algorithm to cover up the loop hole that you took advantage of. The ranking of your articles would suddenly plummet in search results and you may have to start from scratch again.
If you can’t use black hat SEO techniques, the question remains: “How does one formulate a long term SEO strategy to withstand future updates to the Google Search algorithm?”
The key to preparing a successful long term SEO strategy is to use white hat SEO techniques and do things the right way.
It is not necessarily the easiest way to gain web traffic in the short term but, in the long term, it is the method that will deliver the most sustainable results.
White hat SEO methods consist of being honest, upfront and truthful about your content.
Make sure your articles have descriptive titles – the goal is to use the least amount of words possible to deliver the most amount of information to the user.
Your article descriptions can provide more detail than your title and should include keywords that are associated with the content. Using truthful keywords is different from keyword stuffing. Put yourself in your user’s shoes and think of what title and description would be most useful to you in summarizing the content of your article.
There is no way to predict what changes Google will make to their search algorithm in the future. One thing however, is for certain:
“Google will continue to tweak their search algorithm to more accurately serve results that the end user will find valuable.”
This means that if you have valuable content and you market it through honest SEO methods, there will never be a Google Search update that will penalize your content.
There are many articles on the web that talk about white hat SEO techniques and if you follow those methods instead of the black hat methods, you will ensure long term SEO success for you or your organization.