It’s hard to keep up with the numerous search engine algorithm updates that Google releases each year. As such, SEO tactics that work a couple of years ago may be rendered obsolete today.
Yes, that’s how volatile and fast-changing the SEO industry is.
You’ll find it frustrating to keep up with every little part of each algorithm update. And there’s no point in second-guessing what Google may do next.
However, there are certain guiding principles that remain unchanged and they serve as the direction of where Google search is heading.
Seasoned SEO experts are aware of the underlying principles of how Google search works and here are some helpful SEO quotes that will help you for the next decade.
Dave Davies, Co-founder of Beanstalk Internet Marketing.
You can get a tremendous number of backlinks, but if you don’t get your content right, you’ll have difficulty ranking.
Remember that Google is first and foremost a search tool that returns relevant results to users. When a user searches ‘how to bake apple pie’, Google will return content that shows an apple pie recipe and the preparation steps involved.
Therefore, it’s important to step into the audience’s shoes, and think about which type of content serves the purpose of the search phrases best.
Jes Scholz, International Digital Director at Ringier AG
SEO optimization is more than publishing content and building backlinks. There are 200+ ranking signals used by Google. Some of them require technical understanding of how websites operate.
Even SEO professionals may find it tough to run a SEO campaign on their own. Often, you’ll need to work in a team, leverage SEO tools or outsource certain parts of the work involved.
Also, SEO practices evolve quickly and it’s hard for a single individual to stay on top of the changes.
An effective SEO strategy involves various stakeholders: product development, marketing, website development, PR, SEO, content, and branding teams.
Ruth Everett, Technical SEO Analyst at DeepCrawl
Landing on the first page for a particular search phrase scores you bragging points. However, if your website has poor usability, it’s only a matter of time before it slides off the ranking.
User experience or UX, needs to be given ample consideration if you want to remain competitive on Google search.
Factors like loading speed, mobile responsiveness and layout are some UX factors that affect search performance.
If users find your site too difficult to navigate, they’ll just hit the back button and click onto your competitors. Google takes that as a sign that perhaps, your site does have a UX issue.
Kristopher Jones, Founder of LSEO
You’ll find that many SEO quotes are centered on content. That’s because content is the foundation of any SEO campaign.
Whether you’re running a local business or an international e-commerce site, publishing SEO-optimized content helps you to attract search traffic.
Without high-quality, targeted content, you can’t go far with SEO.
Whether it’s industrial articles or blogs for a local e-commerce website, they help in attracting search traffic.
Carolyn Lyden, Lead SEO at Search Hermit
While keywords are important, you should never over-optimize them to the extent that it makes the content sound unnatural.
Remember that you’re writing for users and not search bots. Therefore, your content needs to be engaging and as if you’re conversing with the audience.
Never churn out content just to meet a certain keyword density. Google has a knack for detecting poorly-written, unnatural content and that’s bad news if you’re not producing high-quality content.
If readers love your content, Google naturally does.
Mindy Weinstein. Founder of Market MindShift
Images can make or break your SEO strategy. They are good at visually convey certain types of content.
Yet, if you’re not using the right format or compress them to an acceptable size, images can increase webpage loading time.
You can’t afford to have users waiting for a webpage to load, just because it has uncompressed, high-resolution images.
Also, it’s important to optimize the alt-tag of the images with descriptive and keyword-targeted text.
Jason Barnard, Founder of Kalicube
You can be a terrific writer, but sometimes words alone are not sufficient to rank a webpage. The reason is simple, certain subjects are better explained in other formats.
For example, a comparison table is more effective than lengthy explanations with text for a product X vs product Y article. A combination of a step-by-step guide and a video tutorial works best on a Yoga blog.
Rather than sticking with one format, you’ll want to think about which type of content is the most effective in fulfilling the user’s purpose.
Brian Harnish, Lead SEO at iLoveSEO
Back then, popping up on the first page of Google was the lofty goal of SEOs. Now, you ought to aim for the coveted Google featured snippet spot.
The snippet is featured above the top organic result and potentially draws more traffic. While Google doesn’t reveal what are the requirements to be featured on snippets, you’ll have a good idea by examining existing featured results.
For example, ‘how to’ guides with step-by-step instruction are more likely to rank on Google snippets.
If you’re not optimizing for Google snippets, you need to rethink your SEO strategy.
Ryan Jones, SEO Group Director at Razorfish
While it’s important to learn what your audience it’s searching for, it’s equally important to check out your competitors.
Sometimes, it doesn’t pay to rank for highly competitive keywords when your website is relatively new.
You’ll need to play smart and make the best use of your resources or you’ll end up with frustrating results.
Try to find keyword opportunities that are not dominated by more established sites. Targeting multiple low-traffic, low competition keywords is better than focusing all your efforts on ranking for a high volume, generic keyword.
Helen Pollitt, Lead SEO at Arrows Up
Here’s one SEO quote that will clear up many confusions on link building. It puts an end to the question of which type of backlink carries the most SEO juice.
Ideally, you’ll want to get a link from an authoritative site that is also relevant to your niche. It’s harder said than done and it requires patience, time and effort to link build from such sites.
Do relevant websites but with lesser authorities work? Yes, they are preferable to authoritative websites that have nothing to do with your industry.
Chuck Price, Founder of Measurable SEO
Just because you’ve managed to rank a webpage in 3 months, it doesn’t mean you’ll repeat the feat with others.
There are many factors in play that could affect the duration before you start seeing results. Some pages just take longer to rank for their respective keywords.
If a keyword is dominated by higher-authority sites, it may take more than 12 months before a new webpage squeezes into the search results.
You’ll need to evaluate factors like keyword competitiveness, backlinks, content quality, and user experience to determine if you’re on the right track.
Eric Enge, General Manager at Perficient Digital
A single Google algorithm update could wipe off most of your organic traffic overnight. A bad link building strategy may incur a manual penalty.
When you’re working on SEO, part of the job is to expect the unexpected. This holds true regardless of how evolved Google is in the coming years.
What’s important is to not panic and analyze what went wrong when the dust settles and make changes accordingly.
Sometimes, the fault lies with Google and you’ll need to wait for a reversal.
David Harry, Lead SEO Consultant at Verve Developments
As powerful as Google search bot is, it is still a piece of software with limited comprehensive skills. It couldn’t interpret and understand a piece of an article just like a human could.
Therefore, your content should also contain semantic terms or related phrases besides the primary keyword. They give context to your article and help search engines to understand what the content is all about.
With that said, you’ll want to ensure the article is naturally written, and not forcibly squeezing in the semantic phrases.
Eli Schwartz, Growth Advisor at Eli Schwartz
Not all SEO optimization has to revolve around Google. If you’re targeting an audience in countries where Google is a lesser force, you’ll need a different strategy.
For example, Google is banned in China and you’ll want to rank on Baidu, which serves the Chinese audience.
Similarly, Yandex is the go-to search engine in Russia and you’ll want to optimize for it if you’re targeting Russians.
Even if most of your audience is on Google, don’t forget search engines like Bing and DuckDuckGo, which do have their respective user base.
Aleh Barysevich, Founder of SEO PowerSuite
We couldn’t agree more with this SEO quote.
Sure, ranking for short-tail keywords opens the gate to a large volume of traffic. But if you want better conversion and an easier path to Google page 1, long-tail keywords are the best.
People who are searching for long-tail keywords are driven by a more specific purpose. Their search intent is clearer and it’s easier to produce content that fits their goals.
Viola Eva, Founder of Flow SEO
If you’re looking for a shortcut to SEO ranking, you’ll be deeply disappointed. Such shortcuts are often loopholes that are eventually shut down by Google.
It happened in the past and it will happen again in the future. Instead of wasting time on BlackHat tactics, work on a sustainable SEO strategy with legitimate practices.
Honing up your SEO skills require considerable effort. There’s also the process of trial-and-error that you need to go through.
Eventually, you’ll get the desired results after giving everything you’ve got.
Julie Joyce, Owner of Link Fish Media
SEO effort doesn’t end after successfully placing web pages on Google’s first page. The hard part is to keep them in top positions and fence off challenges from competitors.
To do that, you’ll need to keep improvising on the web pages. For a start, look back at older content and update them. Google loves fresh content.
Get better backlinks, improve page loading speed, redirect broken links, work on internal linking and the list goes on.
You’ll need to be consistently improvising if you want sustainable results.
Tony Wright, CEO at WrightIMC
Taking the top spot for competitive keywords is indeed satisfying. However, you’ll need to evaluate if it fits into your budget and strategy.
In most niches, high-traffic keywords are dominated by websites with high authority. It is not easy to break into the search result.
Often, going heads on with authoritative competitors is not the best idea. Instead, focus on what you could do to outshine your competitors.
For example, closing the opportunities gap with long-tail keywords and improving the on-page experience.
Rachel Costello, Technical SEO Consultant at Builtvisible
If you’ve been paying attention, Google is prioritising content that delivers a great user experience.
In simpler terms, Google rewards web pages that give their users what they want in the most efficient manner.
To SEO-proof your webpages, you need to start looking into factors like what devices are your users using and how good is their internet connectivity.
It’s important to anticipate how users are going to interact with the content and ensure that the process is seamless.
Xavier Tan, Co-founder of Heroes of Digital
Nobody likes to do difficult things. It takes time, energy, resources, money and expertise. This is true in life, and it's no different when it comes to SEO.
Most SEOs would do the easy SEO optimisations - edit meta descriptions, optimize images, do local citations, get PBN links etc. Most SEOs would do these.
What are some difficult things that most SEOs would not do? Write long-form quality content. Build a memorable brand. Create linkable assets on their website that serve their target market well. Do digital PR.
By doing things that others don't want to do, you're creating value. And from there, success will follow.
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