To really start to understand how Google and the other search engines work today, we have to go all the way back to the beginning and understand that first.
Google was founded in 1998. But before Google the only way to get around the internet was to click on links (more commonly referred to as back links) inside websites that brought you to other websites. This site linked to that site, and that site linked to another site…so on and so forth. If you visualize this process, you see a “web.” Hence the original coin for the internet…the World-Wide-Web.
As more websites started popping up, this web system quickly became inadequate and Google was born…a one stop search engine that indexed, tracked and organized every single web page in existence. This made life a heck of a lot easier for us “surfers” and it was a great system that lasted a long time because it was far more advanced at the time than what it was needed for. But like everything in life, we evolve. The problem was, for most of the time between now and then, Google didn’t.
It didn’t take long for the growing number of ambitious internet entrepreneurs to crack Google’s ranking formula, which was based on the old simple ways of navigating around the web…back links from other websites. Google’s algorithm ranked websites for keywords based on the number of other sites on the web with back links to the ranking site, using that specific keyword as their anchor text (the words the link says. Ex. Click Here. The words “click here” are the anchor text.) So if a site wanted to rank for “Los Angeles Plumber” then all they had to do was be the website on the internet with the most other sites linking back to them with the anchor text Los Angeles Plumber.
This was as simple as things were for over a decade. It was just a matter of who spent the most money to build or get more of these matching anchor text back links from other sites. And with this basically public information, for many years more and more people jumped on the web to cash in. Google eventually got to the point where their search results were mostly filled with spam or garbage sites that weren’t even relevant to the searcher’s query. Because a site didn’t have to be relevant. It only needed to have more matching back links than the good sites to get ranked higher and steal the traffic.
So the Google experience went from being a wonderful one to a dreadful one. Users couldn’t find the information they were looking for anymore because 99% of the results the search engine would return were garbage. It was a nightmare. People stopped trusting Google. And if Google has no users, Google has no Google. They were on the verge of collapse. Something had to be done, and boy did they answer.
A few years ago Google began their mission to clean up their search engine which is still going on today. Every year they run hundreds of updates to change and tighten their guidelines on how to rank websites. It went from a very simple system to the extremely complicated one we know today. There are literally hundreds of factors now that they look at to rank every single web page, and this time they‘ve kept them a big, tightly guarded secret.
Now, they haven’t made it impossible to intentionally rank websites. They want and NEED SOME marketers to understand and be able to control their rankings. Because if they didn’t offer any promise in the “free” organic listings, then nobody would stick around and use the extremely over-priced PAID Adwords listings that earn Google literally billions of dollars every year. So they just made things impossible for those that don’t take it seriously and were ruining the quality of their users experience…which was most SEO’s. Google has successfully scared most of them off and in just a short few years time their search engine has become very impressive again as a result.
But there are still quite a few unqualified SEO’s out there. Unfortunately the majority of SEO’s fall into this category. It’s not that their intentions are bad. They’re just in over their head. Google has made things more difficult than most individual SEO’s and Agencies can to keep up with. As a result, they practice the same old outdated methods that not only don’t work any longer, but in most cases will actually get your website penalized so it loses it’s rankings…sometimes completely removed from Google. Banished. Those of us that actually do understand the new Google are far and few in between. And we don’t reveal our secrets.
But what we will tell you is there is no more set formula for ranking a website. Each and every site on the web requires it’s own unique approach. Google is much more cautious and they have so many variables now holding different weights that no two sites are alike. Ranking a website today is like cooking a five star dinner. There are thousands of ingredients on the shelves of the grocery store. But you only need 5 or 10 specific items for your dinner of choice. And then you must know what specific amounts to use of those items for it all to blend together just right so you wind up with your masterpiece.
Someone who has never cooked before would have no clue where to even begin in that grocery store. They may know what most of the items on the shelves are, but they have no idea which ones they need, let alone how much to use of them. The odds of it working out for them are literally thousands-to-one. So they pick a handful, go home, throw them all together and eat their disgusting meal. An executive chef on the other hand knows exactly what he needs ahead of time, and puts them together ever so gently…sprinkles a little of this, then a little of that, and poof…with ease he brings out an amazing dinner.
Other SEO’s are the guys who can’t cook. We’re the executive chef.
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