What is Good SEO?
Years ago when web search wasn’t that great at helping people find what they wanted online, some people practising search engine optimisation or SEO were very good at finding ways to cheat the system. It wasn’t difficult back then to give a website a boost in search rankings by doing things like keyword stuffing and link spamming in comment sections of websites.
Since then, Google has made several algorithm changes and started penalising websites that continued to use these unfair methods of getting websites ranked. Nowadays, SEO isn’t about hacking the system but rather delivering a smooth and relevant user experience across the board.
Good SEO vs Bad SEO
Just like there are two sides to a coin, SEO has the good and the bad. When done the right way, SEO can provide significant benefits to a website including higher SERP rankings for relevant search terms. When done poorly using non-Google approved methods, bad SEO can do more harm to a website than good, making it risky.
Good SEO is often referred to as ‘white hat’ SEO while bad SEO is called ‘black hat’ SEO. People who practice good SEO know the fruits of their labour may not pay off for several months. However, they’re given the assurance that their work will generate more solid results in the future.
On the flip side, bad SEO is often in violation of Google’s terms of service. These underhanded SEO practices are done to trick the search giant into ranking websites higher.
If Google detects bad SEO practices are used on a website that violate its guidelines, it will penalise the site by deindexing it so it doesn’t show up in search results. When a site is deindexed, nobody will find it when conducting a search using the site’s keywords and phrases.
Always Follow SEO Best Practices
If you want to stay on the good side of Google, you have to play by its rules and there are no two ways around it. That’s why you should always follow SEO best practices that don’t violate the search giant’s terms of service.
An example of SEO best practices includes publishing unique, well-written, content using your targeted keyword phrases. You should use your keyword phrases sparingly in your content and include links from other pages (internal links) within your site that point back to the page. Google rewards sites with excellent content by ranking them high in the SERPs.
Another ranking factor Google uses is HTTPs which is a protocol designed to improve site security. You can see if your site is already using HTTPs by checking the loading bar on your browser. If not, install an SSL certificate.
A ‘must do’ SEO best practice is to check your page speed load times. Google uses page speed as a ranking factor because it wants its users to have a smooth experience online. You can check your page speed using Google’s Pagespeed Insight tool. Just enter a page URL to get a score. If you score under 100%, just follow the suggestions to get your page up to speed.
These are just a few examples of good SEO practices. Put your white hat on and be one of the good guys who plays by the rules and wins!