I have always had reservations about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Unlike, say, “optimizing” the carburetor in my 1984 Ford Bronco, “optimizing” a search engine is (has to be) an inherently moving target. This is because search engines have to (should) change and adapt their logic as web content changes/grows and, perhaps more importantly, if someone can ‘game the system’ then everyone can game it and if everyone is optimized then nobody is.
Given that general philosophy, I was very pleased to read this:
These questions stood out to me:
- Would you trust the information presented in this article?
- Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
- Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
- How much quality control is done on content?
- Does the article describe both sides of a story?
- Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
In sum, Google recognizes the inherent problem with SEO “predictability” and is actively changing it, growing it, freeing up writers to write (and not spend time trying to optimize keywords). In fact, if I’m reading this correctly, folks who have invested heavily in padding keywords in their content will (eventually) start to LOSE ranking!
Don’t worry about what you can’t control, focus on what you can.