The basis of any great relationship must start with trust. If you want to succeed in SEO, you need to work hard to gain Google’s trust first. Building any valuable relationship, whether in person or as an online brand, requires the core component of trust to work effectively. And unfortunately, it’s not something that just happens overnight.
There’s a common misconception that SEO is simply about doing the least amount of work for the greatest initial return. And this is where it can get a pretty bad rap, with black hat SEO companies using dodgy link building strategies to get “results”. The truth is though; if you want your website, business and brand to rank well in the organic Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) – you need to do the hard yards first. And that takes times, skill and effort. The process is a long one, and slow and steady wins the race. With the right tools and best practices though, you and Google can (almost!) become best friends.
Advocate Authority Content
Content will always rule the world of Search Engine Optimisation. Google uses it as one of their ranking factors and you need it to gain both their attention and your audience’s with. But it’s not just about one-off articles or words that have been slapped together with little to no value. This type of content won’t gain the traction and trust you need in order to win Google’s heart. You need useful content creation. Quality over quantity is non-debatable today.
Fantastic content is written with the major search engines and humans in mind. Thus, it needs to appeal to both and deliver enormous amounts of value to get the results. Producing great content on a regular basis establishes yourself as a trusted source. And to advocate this authority, you want to demonstrate you’re an industry expert with a frequently updated blog on your site and a strong commitment to outreach and guest posting. Simply put; the more winning content you produce on your own site and relevant, high-profile sites, the more Google will start to take notice of you.
Gain High-Quality Links
Backlinks will always remain a vital Google ranking factor, but with the regular algorithm changes, it’s vital to keep up with the latest best practices if you want Google’s trust. Outreach and guest posting are the two best ways to gain high-quality links and develop a healthy backlink profile. And this is exactly what Google wants to see. Every quality backlink you obtain, whether it’s through guest posting or outreach acts as a vote for YOU. Once these start building up from relevant sites (and boy, can it take time!), it provides solid proof of the genuine value of your content.
On the flip side, posting content on low-quality sites (websites with a low domain authority or not relevant to your niche/topic) can be a negative vote against you – especially if they make up a high percentage of your backlink profile. Google wants healthy diversity too, meaning they shouldn’t all come from the same website source. A healthy backlink profile shouldn’t consist of paid or affiliate links either, as these can be dangerous in earning Google’s trust. To be safe and gain the positive benefits from paid or affiliate links, make sure they have the “rel+nofollow” tag and/or the content is labelled as sponsored.
Size Really Does Matter
Google is constantly emphasising that quality over quantity is paramount when it comes to content creation. But size matters just as much too. Thin content – content without much meat on its bones – can be just as detrimental to your website and business brand as pumping out low-quality pieces. Warning; this is NOT Google encouraging you to write 1,000+ words filled with fluff to keep them happy! Rambling articles don’t provide any value to your readers either. Quality is still key and to continually build Google’s trust, you want to invest in content that’s informative, substantial and focused.
Google’s Panda update helps to get rid of thin or shallow content by expelling poorly written pieces. Avoid writing blog articles that are less than 600 words. Ideally, between 600 to 1,500 words is best for driving traffic to your site and building authority and trust. It’s not to say you should word-count whilst writing though. When debating content length, articles should be as long as necessary to achieve the goal of the piece with high-value structure.
Practice Great SEO
To be considered trustworthy, you must be following Google’s best practices. Strict rules are in place for a reason and if you’re not abiding by them, your website will have a hard time ranking in the SERPs. Or worse, it’ll suffer from detrimental penalties which can be difficult to come back from. This means taking all ranking signals into consideration – not just the ones mentioned above.
Author: Jayde Ferguson
Founder of Toward Music, Jayde is a scripturient with a consuming passion to write. With 12 years experience as a freelance music journalist, she’s also a dedicated writer in the business industry with an undying love for typewriters & street press.