I was always reluctant to call myself an SEO… That is, until I was at this conference and met a guy who owned one of the most respected SEO firms in the country. During his presentation, he didn’t say anything that I didn’t already know, so afterward I approached him to talk shop and started asking him about blended/universal SEO. This is when I realized not only that he didn’t know s**t and that I did, but that SEO was basically bulls**t. This is really why content is king.
Basically, everything you need to know about ranking for your desired keywords can be summed up in 6 little steps:
- Forget Meta Keywords — the major search engine ignore them.
- Use Descriptive Page Titles.
- Write Accurate Meta Descriptions.
- Use H1 Tags to Label Pages — make them similar to (but not the same as) your page titles.
- Have Relevant Content on Your Pages: aim for a 3% keyword density, but settle for 2% density because reading a page with 3% keyword density is like rubbign your eyes with a cheese grater.
- Use H2 Tags to Label Smaller Chunks of Content
Basically, the real secret to SEO is to be relevant. If your pages aren’t really relevant to your targeted keywords, then you’re a spammer. Search results are made for people, not users. Google is dedicated to showing people the results that are most relevant to them. Even if itâ€™s an imperfect search engine, I can assure you that the people behind it are a whole lot smarter than you. You might figure out how to game their algorithm for a bit, but it won’t matter because no one searching for “car parts” is going so say “Oops, I’ve ended up on this mail-order bride site. Maybe I’ll order a wife instead.”
And more and more people are starting to wake up to this:
SEO is using deodorant instead of washing. SEO is masking bad coffee with sugar. SEO is cramming instead of studying. SEO is using pain killers instead of going to the dentist. SEO is taking weight loss pills instead of exercising. SEO is a comb-over. SEO is Scientology. SEO is Paris Hilton. SEO is the Zune. SEO is the morning-after pill. SEO is astroturf. SEO is not the real thing. SEO is cutting corners. SEO is not the solution. SEO is bullshit.
The Google algorithm has come a long way since it was BackRube. Backlinks aren’t quite as important as they used to be, and meta keywords aren’t worth s**t. This is why they say that “content is king.” With the web in its current form, Google is as close to a semantic search as we can get. Google judges the relevance of a page based on the content that’s on it, as well as how well the page is structured and labeled (not “tagged”) for usability.
So as long as you focus on producing quality content in a usable format, you will rank according to how relevant you are. And if your niche is a really competitive one and your competition dominates the first pages of SERPs above the fold because they have just been around a lot longer and, then I guess you have to get off your ass and do something new, innovative, and/or interesting. Otherwise, youâ€™re not really relevant, and youâ€™ll always just be another mediocre copycat, and Google will always know.