Old School SEO

So, last week I was approached by a prospect (now new client) that had been working with another SEO company to improve their website’s rankings. The strategy they were employing was to purchase multiple keyword loaded domain names and deploy them as landing pages in the hopes of attracting traffic to those pages based on the keywords contained in the URLs. Thus far, the client has never seen any benefit from this whatsoever.

Old School SEO

Now… this was a strategy employed some years ago with fairly high success (at least in terms of attracting eyeballs). However, as I explained to my new client, this strategy is very, very old school. Here’s why…

Begin first of all by thinking about what Google is trying to accomplish through its search rankings. The answer is simple: it wants to provide the best, most satisfying results to the searcher so that the searcher will continue to use Google as their search engine of choice, thereby ensuring its continued dominance of the Internet. Obvious…

Now, ask yourself how Google makes the determination of what searchers are going to like in terms of search results. The answer to this should also be somewhat obvious: really good websites! So, when Google is looking at and figuring out where to rank websites it is essentially analyzing them on the basis of usefulness to the searcher based on the keyword(s) they just searched for.

So, what do you think makes a website valuable to you? Well, obviously a site that reflects the keywords you just searched for in terms of the words on the page, the topic the content is about. But, beyond that, what else? How about videos also tagged with those keywords. Or a blog also full of that sort of content. What about podcasts? Or if it’s a retail site, a well designed and secure shopping cart system, with a secure payment system. What about good, simple navigation? And fast loading pages.

Getting the idea? Right. Google is becoming very sophisticated in its ability to analyze websites. And it is using these sophisticated algorithms to not just look at the text on a page, but also how valuable the site is to a user based on a wide variety of criteria. So, with this in mind, why does anyone think that Google would place high value on a single landing page that’s keyword loaded simply to try to attract search engines? Is there any value there? I think we all know the answer to that.

So… want to be in Google’s good books? Think like Google and start making great websites that people will love.

Farhan Fawzer is a Sri Lankan SEO Specialist and Online Marketing Consultant.

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