You Can’t Fool Google So Stop Trying!
In a recent article over on Search Engine Land, author Greg Gifford said the following:
The most important point we try to hammer home to potential clients is that you can’t fool the nerds at Google. Everything you do, both on and off your site, should be working toward the end goal of making your user experience awesome… not trying to fool Google into placing you higher on search results pages.
“You can’t fool the nerds at Google”. What a great line. And so true! I don’t think the term “nerd” is being used negatively here. I think the point is that Google employees are extremely smart. They know what they’re doing. They know what you’re doing. And if you’re doing something they don’t like, well, you’re going to pay for it.
So how can you stay on Google’s “good side”? Here are some tips:
Know who your target audience is
When it comes to your website and your online content, your target audience is the people that are interested in your products or services. Your target audience is NOT the search engines. If you are mapping out your strategy based on what Google wants (or what you think they want, anyway), you are actually doing the exact opposite of what Google wants. Google rewards websites that provide users with a great experience. Essentially, by focusing on human visitors and what they want, you’ll gain search engine trust naturally.
Do your research
As a website owner it is your responsibility to, at the very least, have a basic understanding of how Google works. There are plenty of free resources published by Google that explain what they are looking for and what can potentially land you in hot water.
Practice white hat SEO
When we say to focus on your target audience, we aren’t saying that you shouldn’t do any SEO at all. There is certainly still a place for SEO in an online marketing strategy and following white hat SEO best practices can increase your search engine traffic. Whether it’s someone you’ve hired in house or you’re outsourcing SEO work to a firm, you should always know what their stance is on particular SEO tactics. This is where your research comes in. If you don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong, how will you know whether your SEO provider is practicing what’s “right”?
The bottom line is, there is no such thing as “fooling Google”. Any black/gray hat SEO tactics will surely come back to bite you eventually. It might not be today and it might not be tomorrow. But it’s coming. Who wants to live in fear like that? Especially when Google traffic is what generates business. Instead, stop wasting your time and do what Google wants you to do, which is focus on providing great content and a great user experience for your target audience.
Categorized in: Search Engines
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