Much has been written about current best practice small business SEO after the major Google search algorithm updates of the past 18 months but has that much really changed? We review the changes, the mass of bad (and plain wrong) information written on the subject and consider what really is best practice.
The Changes To SEO
The Panda and Penguin search algorithm Google search algorithm updates clamped down on what Google considered were dubious back linking practices. The number of backlinks to a website (other websites linking to the site) have long been considered a major factor considered when deciding where to rank a website on the search engines.
Many bad linking practices were developed by those seeking manipulate the search engine rankings and gain an unfair advantage. Google tried to address this issue via Panda and Penguin by clamping down on bad practice and by considering link quality rather than quantity. Hummingbird was somewhat different and slipped under the RADAR to some extent but has the potential to be more significant in the longer term if, as seems likely, it was a sign of things to come.
The Myths Surrounding Small Business SEO
Perhaps the largest and potentially most damaging myth is that content is all important and that back linking and other technical aspects of SEO are no longer relevant.
While is it true the Google search algorithm is more focussed on the content (and quality of that content) on a website and how often that content changes than ever before to state that all that is needed for a website to rank well on the search engines is regularly updated content is plain wrong
To state that back links are no longer relevant is a mistruth. Back links are still of vital importance to website ranking all that has changed is the quality of back links is more important than ever before and dubious linking practices are to be avoided at all costs.
What is clear that best practice small business SEO is based on an appropriate mix of activities. Back links remain vitally important as does quality content that changes regularly but so are over 200 other factors that impact on the position of a website in the search engines.
The best way forward is to continue to focus on long established page factors such as Meta tags and backlinks but to also focus on the user experience. A user is likely to find a site slow load speed frustrating, they will find poor site navigation a turn off and when they do reach the required page they want their questions answered via information (content) that is useful and engaging.