Search Engine Optimisation

Who is Search Engine Optimisation For? The Robots or Humans?

By September 9, 2009 No Comments

Who is Search Engine Optimisation for? Robots or Humans?When you first started learning about Search Engine Optimisation, you probably thought its all about employing techniques and tactics to manipulate the search engines (such as Google) into placing your website higher in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP’s).

On the surface, that is true, but you shouldn’t lose touch with Google’s objective: “to put the page that is most likely the one that the searcher is looking for, at the top of the page“.

Therefore, if you know every SEO trick in the book and you get to the top of Google (for a while at least), but the user doesn’t get what they expected when they hit your webpage, they will click “back” in their browser and Google will notice “oh, that person didn’t get what they wanted there, lets put this other page at the top and see if that performs better”.

Google’s algorithm will get smarter and smarter over time, so the effectiveness of most SEO techniques will diminish over time.

The techniques that will be more and more important are those the humans value.

Techniques that give you confidence that the page you’re about to visit is the best choice for you, and then upon reaching that page, you don’t have to click the “back” button, because you did find what you were looking for.

These confidence building clues are found in:

  1. The meta title tag
  2. The short excerpt that Google chooses to show
  3. The keyword rich url (where Google bolds the keywords you searched for)

2 More Things That Really Help Your Google Ranking

  1. Niche content. If you are amongst a few talking about your chosen topic, you have a better chance. If you are one in a million, you’re chances are slim.
  2. Backlinks. Especially from webpages with high PageRank (in human edited directories such as Finda.co.nz or NZS.com), or from Government (.govt.nz) or Education domains (.ac.nz).  Unfortunately Google doesn’t take much notice of comments in blog because of the “no-follow” tag.

My point is that if you want to have longevity in the SERP’s, you better be writing for humans and not just for the robots.

If you are “keyword-cramming” your webpages then you might get a short term bump up the rankings because the robots aren’t too smart, but after a few humans find it unpleasant to read, your ranking will come crashing down.

What should you do next?

  1. Choose a niche
  2. Write valuable content for others interested in that niche
  3. Sew SEO techniques into the fabric of that content