Sparing you a treatise on its origins and the roughly 200 reformulations to the subset, let me focus on what its intent all along has been; simply improve the user search experience by zeroing in on what you are really looking for. As the above formula matured into the behemoth it has become, mathematical manipulation of its core properties has been something of a game for legions of annoying Adsense gamers.
How many times for example have you bumped into a site loaded with ads that only contained more hyperlinks to what you were really looking for in the first place? Well, Matt & the gang at Google are on the move again. Announced at the SXSW 2012 were the latest iterations of algorithm changes to thwart the spammers. I refuse to quote the roundtable discussion here, Like the new algorithm I detest redundancy... Suffice to say more than ever now the jig is up.
Matt Cutts is a name few people have ever heard of and yet he is singularly the most influential person on the planet in terms of the day to day internet experience. On board with Google as an engineer since 2000, it is he and his team who have led the charge to refine and improve the search experience via an ever increased approach toward algorithmic content evaluation along with the tried & true link equations. And writers of promotional copy such as myself have welcomed these moves with a great deal of gratitude...
Actually getting to the top of the search results for high value keywords, and I said TOP, not just page 1, takes a willingness to play fair with the nuances of higher math where the above & its derivatives are concerned, and more importantly than ever now a talent for communicating effectively within its confines. Search engine optimization as it has played out over time has increasingly moved away from code tricks and forward to well crafted and genuinely useful information.
I can honestly say that this has been my modus operandi for years, and it has served me well. Where you are concerned, and in very simple terms, shift your thinking away from optimizing for search engines and instead to optimizing for people. That's what that initial formula up there was all about when it was written, and the direction it continues to head.
Its more than just keywords & links, it's about creating genuinely useful information to the query.
Now in truth many of the core tenets of the above algorithm are firmly in place and are here to stay. Simply stated, old rules still apply, just not as diligently. The phrase “Content is King” has quickly become fashionable again. It derives from a manifesto Bill Gates wrote back in '96, and lately it has been misquoted repeatedly by well-meaning persons trying to explain the assumed direction of SEO.
Generating a more suitable corollary here, visual text copy is now more relevant than it ever has been. So what constitutes quality content? Downright absence of dangling modifiers, rigid paramedic perhaps, or merely just good ol' punctuation? The answer is an easily readable combination of both, i.e. soft & hard rules of the written message. Use every optimal component of your website sparingly, cautiously, and in the right place. Think of it as a chess game, because in the scheme of things, that's precisely what it is.
One of my favorite things to do when discussing copy with clients is to walk them through bad sites. I never denigrate the authors, as the majority of website owners simply don't understand the amount of time that goes into putting a site together, nor its inherent value to their cause.
Marketing is routinely the step-child of the company, and they want it done fast & cheap. Purchasing a website in a can is a common route, and such sites read precisely as what they are. And I say fine, the folks at Adwords will welcome them with open arms...
For the rest of you, COPY IS CRITICAL; it says in seconds how serious you are about your business, and more importantly how intelligently your institution goes about its daily affairs.
Effective messaging is all about being interesting and useful to the reader, in whatever capacity, and instilling the most pertinent aspect of all, TRUST. Combining all the basic components of established content strategies together with competent, well structured, and useful information is what gets your site in top positions.
Pick your favorite word. When changes get made that positively affect your site's performance & hence your revenues, the big question is always “Is this going to last” ? The quick answer is yes, with the disclaimer of “until someone comes along and does it better”.
The algorithms are tweaked on a recurrent basis, yet even in the presence of this, pursuing an SEO policy of doing right by your potential audience all but guarantees very high visibility for your site. As a personal plug here I am quite happy to walk you through site after site I've copy-written & optimized; still sitting at the top of the organic (free) listings in search results for high-value keyword phrases that the clients know return the best results in garnering new clients.
All this is accomplished on the simple premise of honesty. Don't pull any stunts or dirty tricks that when caught get you axed, and use clean descriptive coding techniques. Smart, honest, & competent presentation of your website is all you have to do, i.e. just do the right thing...
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