Later today, we are releasing a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. It is called the September 2019 Core Update. Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before. Please see this blog for more about that: https://t.co/e5ZQUAlt0G
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) September 24, 2019
Don’t buy SEO services from or listen to someone worried about Google updates.
Because Google updates their algorithm every couple of days. Hundreds of times a year.
If you’ve been in the search engine optimisation business for even 3 to 5 years, you’ve been through hundreds or thousands of Google updates.
A Google update should be expected and is no big deal. It’s not a newsworthy event.
And yet, there is a whole industry of “SEO experts” whose entire job consists of following and reporting on Google updates. These folks are more of journalists than they are builders.
The SEO journalists write about whatever Google is posting about on the Webmasters blog. They are just amplifying Google’s corporate message.
— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) October 16, 2019
The SEO builder is in the trenches, actually building websites, businesses, and brands of their own or for clients, or both at the same time, and seeing what actually works.
You usually don’t hear from the SEO builder, because they are actually working to move websites to the top of Google searches that will bring them and their clients more traffic and more money.
Why Real SEO Experts Don’t Follow Google Updates
Now naturally, you might be asking why I’m making such a fuss about this. The reason is, I see a lot of businesses wasting time and money following bad advice.
And that really grinds my gears.
If someone says they’re focusing on being healthy and losing weight, yet you keep seeing them drink beer, eat pizza, and watch TV, are you really going to pay attention to what they say about losing weight?
Google, with all their great products and services, still get more than 80% of their revenue from paid ads, not from smart speakers or phones, but advertisements on Google platforms. This revenue comes from Google’s Adwords, also known as pay per click.
SEO services move your website to the top of Google searches organically.
SEO stands for search engine optimisation and the “organic” comes from what Google’s algorithm determines is the best result to return for a particular search.
If your website shows at the top of a Google search organically, you will get “free” traffic from Google. This is where a ton of money is and that’s why website owners want to buy SEO services, to get free traffic.
The problem is, if you follow Google’s advice and every little update, you are following advice from someone who has no incentive to give you good advice.
And as Charlie Munger has said, incentives are superpowers.
This is important to remember: Google does not get paid by you when you appear organically in the SERPs, even if your website shows in the first position for a competitive search.
Why SEO Experience Matters
Moving a website to the top of competitive Google searches with SEO is hard work. It takes time and knowledge.
The only real way to understand how to move a website to the top is by experience. The only way to gain this knowledge is by trying and testing it hundreds or thousands of times across many different websites and seeing what actually works.
Google will tell you to just build a good website with good content and see what happens. Google also say that there are over 200 different factors that the algorithm uses for ranking signals. Nobody can possibly keep track of all that.
But they’ll also say that you should probably just use Adwords.
The Problem With Following Google Updates
SEO companies that are always touting the latest change in Google’s algorithm think they are doing the right thing. They are doing what Google is telling them. They have Google’s official stamp of approval.
It looks like they know what they are doing. It looks like they are authoritative and experts. These SEO companies send their top employees to speak at conferences and win Search Industry awards.
So, why is this a problem? Well, they will waste a whole bunch of time and money on the latest update like E.A.T. standards.
Being glued to Google updates, they’ll constantly be changing your website to the swings in the algorithm.
Can you imagine that? If you are like me, and you treat your website as a business, why would you keep changing your business around because someone, who has no incentive to care about your business, thinks it’s a good idea?
Do you think that Best Buy, Coca-Cola, or Nike are constantly changing their business because of every Google update?
And here’s the most important thing, none of this will get your website to the top of relevant Google searches that will bring your business more customers that need your goods and services.
How To Approach SEO For Your Website
Treat your website like a real business. Build your business up.
First, make sure your website meets current web standards and norms.
Your site has to be a decent experience for the user on mobile devices. Make sure your business is secure, meaning your SSL certificate, the S in HTTPS://yourwebsite.com is installed and working properly. Otherwise, search engines will say your business is “Not Secure” and scare away your customers.
Use clean URL’s. These are easily understandable to a user as well as a machine (Google). WordPress makes this easy.
In the dashboard of a WordPress site there is an option to select Post Name. This changes your page URL’s from yourwebsite.com/p?5588as to yourwebsite.com/really-interesting-useful-article.
Makes sense, right? Post name URL’s are much easier to understand than the default setting. Make your business easy to understand.
Page titles are also important. With page titles, you want to describe the page and try to fit in a keyword or two. This is also a place where you can exercise your copywriting skills. You might even want to add a call to action (depending on the page).
Getting the most out of your page title is important because your page title is the bold blue description Google uses for your website in the search results.
A Real World Search Result Example:
Here’s a good example from the first page for the search “roofing companies Raleigh nc”:
Who do you think is making better use of their valuable real estate?
Both businesses state their location: Raleigh, and get their keyword or niche in the title: Roofing Company.
But one company understands marketing and digital real estate better.
Who would you rather call? Someone who is boring and merely states what they do? Or the company using a little ingenuity and adding social proof to their page title?
I’d rather call the company VOTED #1.
You see, this is what SEO is all about, treating your website like a business. A business that incorporates social proof is always going to be better than the boring business that does not, no matter how often Google changes their algorithm.
Powerful SEO Is About Branding
If you build a great business, and a powerful, trusted brand, Google is going to send you free traffic.
The best illustration of how important and valuable branding is can be seen if you Google, “I want the best buy on shoes”.
The number 1 organic result is the traditional US electronics retailer Best Buy. Best Buy understands how powerful and valuable their brand is, so why not sell shoes? They get a ton of free traffic from Google because of their branding.
Just try to Google anything with the words “best buy” and it’s almost guaranteed you’ll see the Best Buy website listed on the first page results.
Best Buy has powerful SEO because they have a powerful brand. And that’s not going to go away with one or two or a year’s worth of Google updates.
Now, naturally, you’re wondering how can you copy Best Buy’s branding except on a smaller scale for your business? I recommend studying the websites like Best Buy, Target, Nike, etc. You’ll see that they are mentioned all over the internet and they all have a consistent brand name.
When you search for these brand names, there’s no mistaking who they are. The entire first page of the search results for Nike is filled with Nike web properties.
How can you get the benefits of SEO?
The answer is simple:
Don’t work with SEO services that are worried about every little Google update.
Work with folks that can help you build a powerful brand and powerful business, and you’ll get plenty of “free” attention from Google.
Want more SEO advice? Check out these guides that havw been shared 1k+ times on social:
- Voice Search: The Need to Know Secrets of Voice SEO for 2020
- What Are LSI Keywords? And Do They Help Search Rank?
- The Keyword Strategy That Increased Our Organic Traffic by 1,312%