Doesn’t matter are you a newbie in SEO or you’re the experienced specialist, if you’re not in the Google TOP 10, something is wrong with your approach. Without a doubt, you have been reading numerous articles or even studies on the subject of SEO within a year or more, but you still can’t realize, what’s wrong with your website. The first rule you need to figure out is to learn the basics of Google. I don’t want to waste your time on the incomprehensible terms. Let’s use a straightforward language, to explain complicated things.
Most of you can’t realize one crucial detail. Have you ever asked yourself, what does Google mean by the term “unique content?” Of course, you know that your content must be:
- Relevant to a particular keyword;
- Unique (in your opinion);
- Useful for your visitors;
- Have no borrowed parts;
- Is able to answer a search query.
It may look easy to follow these rules. However, don’t forget that Google is a search engine (algorithm). Your content may seem suitable for these five points, in your opinion. However, Google regards these points differently. Once again, you’re fighting against a robot, not a human, even despite the fact that humans created this “creature.” The clue to this issue is to comprehend how does Google treats these five items.
Let’s start with our 1st point — relevance to a particular keyword. Many years ago, the Google algorithm wasn’t perfect. That’s why there were a lot of doorways and other black hat SEO methods that worked. What am I talking about? For instance, you could write a keyword numerous times on your webpage using small letters at the bottom of the article, to take the 1st place in the Google SERP. It was so simple since Google has been counting the number of keywords on your webpage.
Of course, this method doesn’t work in 2018 and won’t work after. So, take into account the first rule, never use many keywords, just to impress Google. In fact, you can don’t use a key phrase in your article at all. Moreover, sometimes, you can see some websites in the SERP, which doesn’t have the keyword in a description and even title. But how Google understands that this web page is relevant to this keyword? There is no simple answer to this question. Someday, I’ll publish an article on the topic. But this time, I’ll try to explain you the issue of relevance in a nutshell.
The most widespread mistake is that you think that Google evaluates a page while the search engine estimates the entire website instead. Unlike you, Google is capable of assessing many factors simultaneously. While you’re paying your attention to a particular article on your web project, Google focuses on a deep analysis of the entire structure of your project.
- How old is your domain?;
- Is there a keyword in your domain name? (EMD);
- Is the entire website relevant to a search query?;
- Are you the first who published this content (especially relating to the news);
- Who is an author of this content? Does this author has a proper degree, to cover this topic (especially in medicine);
- Have your website been previously punished?;
- What is the average speed of ALL the pages on your website?;
- And more, more, more other factors.
Summing up, it doesn’t matter that your article is relevant to the particular keyword, for Google, at this stage, this is just another one article. That’s why we now need to pay our attention to a second point, uniqueness.
Do you think that your content is unique? I doubt. The only way to make your article completely unique is to write something directly from your head about something abstract. Otherwise, there is at least someone whose opinion is similar to yours on the subject. So, if you need to write an article about Brad Pitt, don’t be so naive while considering that you could create an entirely unique blog post about this actor. There are millions of fans of Brad Pitt, a Mercedes-Benz brand, or a luxury brand watches. Thousands of articles are devoted to the most famous and prominent personalities, brand names, historical events, etc. So returning to Brad Pitt, there is no way to be absolutely unique writing about the actor. You may argue that your website is about pets, and you can be unique while talking about dogs and cats. No way!
First, while writing, you’re using various idioms. You can’t express your feelings without these phrases. In addition, you use names, dates, facts, etc. All these words make your content non-unique. Honestly, it’s a serious issue. But is there a solution? Don’t worry; I’m about to explain to you how to deal with this issue.
- People who stand behind Google know this fact;
- Uniqueness for Google and you are two different terms;
- Of course, there is a solution.
First, I want to reveal a sad fact. Google counts up seven words in a row to define their uniqueness. So if you change one of them, your content becomes unique again. Why seven words? Try to use any plagiarism checker, and you’ll discover proof of the fact.
Secondly, don’t try to make your content 100% unique since you can’t cope with this task. Try to write more words instead. Google counts up a percentage of the non-unique content. As a result, even if you borrowed some data from another source, but these data will contain only 3-5% of your entire article, there is no reason for panic.
Let’s now take a look at item №4.
Sometimes, you can’t avoid of borrowing some data. For instance, you need to take a piece of a press release. Fortunately, there is the official solution. You can use a quote in your HTML markup. I mean the tag
<blockquote></blockquote>. But frankly, I doubt that Google takes this tag into account. Therefore, the only way to be unique is to avoid borrowing. Otherwise, you can be being hit by Panda.
But I can give you a hint how to borrow some content and not to be punished. You may use an embedded Tweet as a quote. Google adores such an approach, especially if you’ve quoted something from the confirmed Twitter account.
Hey #BrightonSEO folks – it was great talking with you all today! Thanks for a fascinating day!
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) April 27, 2018
Without a doubt, you believe that you produce useful content. However, Google may consider your data useless. Please, take a closer look at this point. Your content could be unique but entirely meaningless (for Google). Why??????? The answer lies on the surface. There are too many web pages that are devoted to the topic. Almost every article is written correctly and is relevant to a search query. How can Google define which of them is the best?
Now it’s time to talk about how Google evaluates the usefulness. Unfortunately, the answer is simple; Google can’t do it directly. Once again, a search engine is nothing but a robot (they call it “bot” or “Googlebot“). Google bot can’t grasp whether your content is useful. Therefore, the AI (Artificial intelligence) uses the most primitive approach, to cope with this task. Yes, I’m talking about the behavioral factors as well as backlinks.
Back in 1996, Larry Page and Sergey Brin introduced a term PageRank. Nothing has changed since that date. Though Google refuses usage of this indicator, PageRank is still the most valuable indicator among all the search algorithms. So what are the factors which Google uses to define the usefulness of your article? As I have mentioned above, the search engine uses the most primitive approach.
- PageRank = how many external websites are linking to your web page;
- Domain Authority (how old is your domain, total number of backlinks, how many popular and trustworthy websites are linking to you);
- Google counts how many time a visitor has spent being on your page;
- Googlebot looks at how many pages the visitor has visited;
- Google evaluates how many comments your page has;
- Googlebot also track down tweets, likes, shares, etc. (however, this factor is minor);
- Finally, Google uses feedback as an instrument to define, whether your page deserves to be in the TOP 10. However, it’s worth noting that this factor relates to these articles which are already in the TOP of the SERP.
Now you know the basics about how Google evaluates your web pages. Thus, it’s time to answer the question: what is the best SEO strategy for the beginner? Of course, I have an answer since otherwise, this article might be useless.
If you have just started, follow the rules:
1) Forget about highly competitive keywords and focus your attention on your content.
I have the real experience with highly competitive key phrases. Therefore, I know how it works, and I’ll share these data with you.
First, Google discovers your article, and if you followed all the instructions above, the search engine gives you the 100th place in the SERP. If you managed to find your article among the first 100 results, it’s a success. So I’d suggest you tune up your Google profile to display the TOP 100 results instead of the TOP10-20.
2) Don’t expect any results before you publish at least 100 articles. In fact, you need at least 500 articles (not pages) to be in the TOP 20 by some non-competitive keyword.
Maybe you heard about the Google sandbox. Many think that this is nothing but a myth. However, bear in mind, Google will never give you a chance to compete with a serious web project before you have at least 500-1000 articles.
3) Never write an article which contains less than 500 words, even if there is nothing more to write. In the beginning, I suggest you write at least 700-1000 words (not symbols). I know, it’s annoying. However, this is how Google works.
4) Never borrow any piece of other content, even if it is a press release. Use Twitter quotes instead.
5) Never publish your website before it contains at least 15-50 articles (not pages). The reason is very simple. Since your site is totally new, Google will be visiting it rarely. If Google discovers 1-2-3-5 pages, next time the search engine will be visiting your project in two weeks or a month. By the way, keep in mind, your primary goal is to force Google to visit your website as frequently as only possible.
6) Don’t submit your new website in WMT (Google Webmaster Tools). This point may seem a bit weird. But I’ll try to explain it. At first, you should track Google’s natural behavior relating your website. Don’t try to force Google to index your pages. Don’t use “fetch as Google” in your WMT. It is one of the most widespread mistakes when a webmaster is trying to force the things to be faster. Add your website to WMT later, much later.
7) You must attempt to shock Google by using your ingenuity. Try to add diagrams or infographics inside your articles or create a video, etc.
For Google, your content is not only the text. You should invent some astonishing thing to make your content special. Turn on your imagination.
8) Don’t waste your time by studying the TOP 10 websites hoping that they represent a good example how the best website must look like.
It’s a wrong step since Google might change its algorithm and all these perfect projects could drop. On the contrary, your goal is to find the Achilles’ heel of your competitor instead of studying its benefits.
9) Never try to purchase backlinks. It is the best way to invite a Penguin, to punish your project. Google would give you a chance to get natural backlinks by giving you the first place by a low-competitive keyword.
10) Finally, how it works naturally?
There are a few phases how Google evaluates your website and gives you traffic.
- Your website is young and thereby only exists in the supplemental index;
- Your project is in a sandbox since Google doesn’t know are you deserve to be in the index;
- Google is continuing to index your website to define how exclusive, original, and unique your content is;
- Once your project gains enough content, Google gives you a chance; congratulations, now you are in the TOP 10 by a thin non-competitive keyword;
- Now it’s time for Google to award you with some amount of organic traffic to test your durability;
- You get your first backlink since you are #1 by a particular keyword;
- Now Google is looking how natural your backlink profile is;
- If everything is fine, Google gives you a chance to compete with other websites since now you are getting some valuable traffic from a mid-competitive keyword;
- It’s time to test your project with a Panda, Penguin or another algorithm update;
- If you have survived, it’s time to relax (for you, not for Google);
- The next phase may last for years. However, if you managed to survive in the TOP 1 for a long time, Google could try to give you the enormous traffic thanks to a highly competitive keyword. However, this is a subject for another article.
Summing up, if you are ready for all these tasks, I welcome you to a white SEO society. As you have seen, everything looks easy. However, it’s complicated to realize all these steps in practice. But now you’re ready to read other articles on this website. By the way, if you managed to find this article, this means that these methods will work. All you need is just make your first step into the world of SEO. I hope this world is for you!
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