One of the most frequent questions we get it is: “What’s the easiest way to get to the top of Google?” The answer is often met with disappointment — because the answer is something along the lines of, “Time and effort.

Stop Trying to Game the System

For as long as Search Engine Optimization has been around, people have tried to game the system. Why not? We all want the best results with the least amount of work. It’s just human nature!

When SEO was just a wee pup, it was all about keyword stuffing and purchasing backlinks. I mean, you could simply throw a bunch of keyword mumbo-jumbo into a page and rank. Then, toss a few paid backlinks at the problem and — viola — just sit back and wait for your rank to rise. Yes, it was some magical SEO voodoo!

But those days are long gone my friend! Today, search engines have evolved and discovered these shady tactics were running rampant at the top of their pages. In response, they created algorithm updates like Penguin and Panda. After a while, they birthed one of their top-ranking signals, RankBrain.

Search Engine Optimization, these days, is basically People Optimization. 

Stop Talking to Robots

If the content you’re creating and distributing does not resonate or add value in some way, then it’s not worth writing and posting. The olden days of SEO were rife with content created to beckon bots, summon spiders, and call out crawlers. Yeah, it sure sounds like something the cool goth kids would be into, but it’s definitely not cool with the folks at Google.

Typically these blog articles ended up making no sense and would often result in questions like,  “Why did I just read the same word 8 times in one paragraph?”

Robots loved that stuff. If Johnny 5 read it, he’d be delighted. However, it did nothing to create value for customers and readers, which turns out is the whole point.

Start Talking To People

If you’re reading this, chances are that you are actually a person (shout out to all the non-humans perusing this article). So it stands to reason, you have a base-level understanding of how something should read. You don’t need an ivy-league education to know when something sounds weird.

So when you’re writing content for your site, make sure it’s written people just like you. This means avoiding keyword stuffing and all the things that force you to pause while reading. Not only will Google be happy with you, but actual human beings will want to read what you wrote.

That brings me to another important point: if your customers are not willing to read your content they’re definitely not going to share or link to it.

Stop Trying To Cheat

PRO TIP: It’s not worth trying to cheat Google. Anything you do to skirt the rules is going to ultimately do more harm than good. Google will eventually catch you and then penalize you to oblivion. You may as well bite the bullet and play by the rules.

Start Adding Value

When it comes to SEO, playing by the rules is as easy as providing value for your customers. After all, that’s the reason you started your business, right?