Historically Google has been seen as an adversary to SEO. With guidelines spanning over 200 pages it seems there is little chance of pleasing Google. However, Search Engine Journal did an interview with a Google executive who said Google is actually an advocate for good SEO and awards white hat techniques. Here are some good nuggets gleaned from this interview:
- Google’s answer to a lot of SEO questions is “it depends” and that is because there are so many variables in how Google determines placement they must be that ambiguous. Some of the it depends questions are: Is it a new site? Has it moved recently? Has the URL changed? Has the site setup changed? How fast is the site? Is there a lot of competition? The answers to these questions and more will complete the “it depends” answer but because of the specifics that’s as specific Google can be.
- Some complain that so much is included in featured snippets that potential customers don’t have to click through to the website. Google’s answer to that is in their view it actually does the opposite. Good content in a snippet will actually prompt a potential customer to click through and obtain more information. (They also say usually those who complain have crappy content.)
- Google doesn’t provide a lot of transparency to their formulas and algorithms is something heard frequently by those at Google. The answer there is that like any company, if they revealed every piece of information, it would be misused and taken out of context and most likely used against them. McDonalds doesn’t give out their secret sauce formula but everyone knows what it is. There is value to some ambiguity. However, Google has said they will be providing as much information as possible to SEO companies and consumers to improve their transparency.
Possibly one of the most interesting parts of the interview was when the Google executive said he didn’t want to know how search engine rankings work because it would cloud his conversations with SEO professionals. While this professional appreciates that viewpoint, it is difficult to have an in depth and meaningful conversation with someone who doesn’t have an idea how search engines actually work.
So unfortunately the result of this interview didn’t provide a lot of clarity, but that is to be expected when dealing with Google. It seems the SEO game continues to be just that, an attempt by SEO professionals to follow the best practices and processes that have provided success in the past in the goal of getting a business ranked. The challenge is to understand that this is a game like chess and not poker. There is strategy and study involved to figure out the most effective techniques and formulas to achieve ranking results.
The SEO practices of VA on the Spot are testament that we follow Google’s guidelines as closely as possible and only utilize white hat techniques when helping our clients achieve success. Call today to see how we can help your business grow and achieve a new level of success while giving you back more time in your day to do the business you love.