Google isconstantly changing their algorithm to determine which sites will rule the search engines, and which ones will remain lagging behind. This is probably the hardest thing about SEO, keeping up with Google’s non-stop changes to what they consider good SEO, what they consider to be bad SEO, and what they once considered good SEO, that they now consider bad SEO (which is quite a bit). So how do you keep up with everything? This article will explain exactly that.
Back In The Day
Back in the early days of the internet, getting SEO rankings was really easy. Pretty much all you had to do, was some basic On-Page SEO, such as Title, Meta Description, Meta tags, etc., and of course, stock up on backlinks, and you were good to go. Obviously, as people caught on to this, they realized how easy it would be to rank their sites high up in search engines like Google just by buying a bunch of fake, random backlinks. No problem, right? Well, it worked out great at first, but of course, as Google started to realize that just about anyone could game their search engine with some real simple backlinks, things became harder and harder… Certain backlinks weren’t considered valuable anymore, others were considered more valuable, and they left people guessing as to what really works, which is the whole idea behind these consistent updates.
The Types of Links
What makes this whole thing such a mess is the ridiculous amount of different “types of backlinks” or categories of backlinks that someone has to get. For example, you have relevant backlinks, and non-relevant ones, nofollow and dofollow, high PR and low PR, Web 2.0, Social Bookmarks, Social Networking links, Edu/Gov links, and more. This is where things start to get really complex, and most people trying their hand at SEO end up just giving up. Major questions arise, such as: How many links do I get total? What percentage nofollow vs. dofollow? What percentage of each PR (Page Rank) do I want to get? And unfortunately, while there’s a TON of information about this on the net, the vast majority of it is either out of date, or was never even right to begin with. Finding up to date information is hard when sometimes information that came out only a month ago is already out of date (like when Google launches a new update, for example). So, what do you do? How can you stay up to date, without having to rely on every source you can find for information?
Finding Out The Algorithm
Unless you work for Google, there’s only one reliable way to find out the algorithm at any given time, and that is, to use a reporting tool to look at all the different SEO factors of the top sites, ranking for various keywords, on page 1 of Google. There are reporting tools that will take a site, and find out all it’s backlinks, how many they have, what types of sites they’re coming from, what sort of Top Level Domains they’re coming from (.com, .net. .org), and all the On-Page factors of a given site as well, and they’ll give you a detailed report on exactly what these sites have going for them. If you do this on enough of the top ranking websites in Google, you’ll start to see a pattern immediately. For example, do all the top sites have a lot of social network links, or social signals (Facebook Likes, Google +’1s, etc), these will tell you that.
There are many different reporting tools you can use to find out this info. I’ve personally found Google Page 1 Infiltrator to be an asset, but, you can do your own research, and find out which one is the best for you, and use whatever one you choose. As long as it’s a reporting tool covers all the basic and most important grounds of On-Page and Off-Page SEO, you’re going to be fine. These reports will typically give you 50+ pages of data on every single website, but if you take the time to sift through it all, and do it on several different sites that are ranking well (and maybe a few that aren’t working well, so you can see what isn’t working) then you’ll know how to proceed with your own SEO, and there’s literally nothing Google can do to prevent this, or to hide what ACTUALLY works from you.
Anytime there’s update, you can just do this, and you’ll be fine. You’ll have a HUGE advantage over everyone who’s trying to look around for the information on what works, and getting a ton of contradicting information. Get to the core, and figure out exactly what works, and you’ll always be one of the few who knows what’s going on, and before you know it, everyone will be coming to you when they need some SEO help.