On Page SEO – NO
More and more articles have been coming out lately with regards to On Page SEO, and the fact that it’s becoming less and less important to be found in online searches.
For any business wanting to be found online, search has historically been THE way to get traffic to their website. Google has, and continues to, change the way search works and the factors used in determining who’s being found on the first page. There is mounting evidence that what’s on the first page is going to predominantly matter when it comes to relevance, not ranking. That basically means that the words on the page, as well as the tags, are more for subject matter than anything else. Therefore, tweaking them, putting in ‘alt’ tags, and all the other little SEO ‘tricks’ that are normally played, are no longer going to get your business as close to the top of the first page as they used to.
In addition, there is mounting data that suggests far more consumers are far less trusting of ‘first page results,’ especially those under thirty years of age. Informed consumers realize that it’s highly likely that companies found on the first page paid in order to exist there. In other words, people are starting to come to the conclusion that the first page does not necessarily yield the ‘best’ results when looking for a company to do business with.
Of course, there is the lazy factor, but that will grow to be less and less of a factor if people do not find the quality of product or service that they’re searching for. If this trend continues, as is expected, and search results become less and less trustworthy, more people will rely on other ways to find what they’re looking for. One of two things will happen here. Either people will use those other ways, or the search engines – Google, especially – will keep ‘fine-tuning’ their search criteria to give people the results they want.
No one ever believed that Google was going to become the major force it is today, including yours truly. But with such a large portion of their revenue coming from advertising, Google will find a way to keep people using them even as the game and rules continue to change. Let’s remember, they have all the data. Why do you think they keep changing the search criteria?
So, if ‘on page optimization’ is something that will mostly affect relevance, what will affect rankings? Also, what will drive traffic websites if search becomes less and less important? Well…there’s this little thing called social media.
Social media does a number of things besides giving people a place to go and ‘chat.’ Each time someone posts a comment, or talks about a product and/or service, new content is immediately created. That content, in many cases, references or links back to the company/site that it was about. All of these links add importance in the eyes of Google and other search engines, which place a high value on back-links. In addition, since this linked content is being newly created, it indicates that there’s something ‘happening’ with that product or service, making the content not only relevant, but also current.
One of the reasons people have been saying for years that “content is king,” is that new content ‘appearing’ shows that either the company, or someone who cares about the company – whether it be a customer or the company itself – is creating information about it and keeping it in the forefront of peoples’ minds.
Creating content does take time and money. Creating quality content takes even more. Anyone creating content that is not high quality is pretty much just shooting themselves in the foot. After all, what does that say about the company itself? By placing importance on high quality, relevant, and current content, the search engines have what amounts to be a self-policing way to rank sites.
Let’s turn our attention back to social media. Not only does it create content, it creates ready-made networking groups. It’s been said that, “everyone knows someone.” That is social media. For example: I’m friends with Fred, who loves golf. I see a new golf product that I think Fred will really like. I can immediately post a link to him, send a message, or a slew of other things, and it’s immediately seen by all of our mutual friends. From there, it more or less takes on a life of its own. That is, in essence, social media networking and marketing.
Instead of a product, let’s look at an article or story about a company, their product and/or service. Once that type of content is created and posted on the Web, it will start being tweeted, re-tweeted, referenced and discussed in all the various social media forums that exist.
One thing that many of us forget is that the Internet – the World Wide Web – is an ever-growing, ever-changing landscape. What works today may not work next year. Google was, and will continue to, be a large player in shaping the way it works. Facebook has also changed the way companies and people look at doing business on the Web. Who will be the next big player?
The one and only thing that remains certain is that the Internet is all about the finding and sharing of information, and as long as there’s information to share, there will be a need for it.
It’s not going anywhere!