There are so many people in the SEO industry who are racking their brains, trying to figure out which methods to use to get high ranks. It used to be easy – you build massive quantities of links, usually by using automated tools like article syndication platforms or automatic directory submissions, you recycle articles like crazy with content spinning tools, and you get high ranks. I myself, was part of this cycle and I can vouch it worked just fine, and even great, for several kind years.
The picture started to change with Panda, back at the beginning of 2011, and had completely erased with Penguin. I remember the date clearly, since my valuable and cherished ranks started to gradually disappear – April 25, 2012. It started with my UK ranks, continued to other European ones, like Finland and Sweden, and ended with the more distant markets – Australia and New Zealand. Within 6 months I was worse off than where I started and I knew that things will have to change if I want to stay in business.
During all this time I read articles about how to survive Penguin, how SEO is dead, how Google is being a bully and so on. I actually agreed with that last one – why should Google determine the rise and fall of entire companies? The answer to that took my head out of the sandbox and into a new and better world – Google definitely shouldn’t be the one determining who should be ranked high, it’s the users that should be doing that. When I stopped trying to please Google, and started trying to please users, and only users, that’s when things started getting back on track.
What does pleasing users mean?
Most SEO professionals will say at this point – well that’s the whole problem. How do you get those first users to get to know you so you can get ranked? The answer is simple – Natural content management.
Natural content management basically means you stay updated with current events related to your industry, you find your own unique view of things and you write about it. If it’s interesting, people will come, if not they won’t. It’s simple, fair for everyone and NATURAL. Your site shouldn’t be ranked high if users are not getting valuable information or services from it, and vice versa.
The process is not short. You’re not going to get instant results. It’s a process that takes months. You’ll have to share your posts using social networks, maybe run sponsored content campaigns using content recommendation platforms like Outbrain or Taboola, monitor comments, answer them, link to other relevant posts, taking advantage of pings, include sharing buttons that are easy to use in each post, regularly maintain your social pages and make sure you use a reliable Newsletter platform. It’s not magic and it’s not even SEO, it’s simply natural.
So when I read articles like this SEJ one, yet again quoting Matt Cutts and trying to decode every meaning of it, I go over it briefly and continue with my regular work. Because I don’t care if Google likes guest bloggers, I care that my visitors like them and enjoy the diversity. I’m not going to think whether to include a link or not, I’m just making sure that all links are actually relevant to the readers of the post. It’s simple – Produce something good and there’ll be someone that wants it.