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SEO in 2019, updated tips & tricks.
Google has updated it's SEO rules and scoring mechanics and sites will also be subjected to manual review by actual people. This means that the "old" SEO game of tricking the system will be harder or even useless. That said if you practised good SEO before not much will change for you since you never tried to trick the system, to begin with. A 200-page manual was released/leaked with instructions from Google to the reviewers on how to proceed/rate websites from now on. With the vast amount of websites out there, it will take some time before you will be reviewed but manual reviews are here to stay and will most certainly weed out the bad SEO practices of the past. This will be a short and sweet article going over the basics and some end-user examples from me the author.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization it basically is about how a human will try to make a site in terms of the actual coding so that a machine/algorithms/AI can understand so it may be ranked and listed in a search engine. Various factors will set your ranking XYZ, trying to cheat the system will be penalized as well as being harmful to web users, helpful content, as well as content from reputable people, will be ranked higher.
Content is King.
Google and any other search engine for that matter provide one service and one service only that is to provide a list of results from a web user query. so it is in a search engine's best interest to answer any query the best possible way. To do so search engines as Google will use programs/algorithms to visit a site and see how it may be listed on their site. For the 2019 update, Google now tries to determine the user's reputation as a writer on the content he/she provides. You do not per se have to hold for instance a Ph.D. in a field but it would help if you do and Google can find that on the web. What also counts is experience Google tries to determine that by finding out more articles of a subject matter you have written about or that you collaborated on with others. It is not just written content it can also be images and videos or even podcasts. Another factor will be back-links to your site or a specific article as well as the authority of those links, the big change this time around is the authority of the link(s) so it is wise to ensure if you want to work on backlinks that those come from good sites in an organic way, so no paid linking as well as advertisement. In short, go for quality over quantity when you try to generate/create backlinks. The next change is the user experience, how easy is to access the information and how do you provide useful content to the web. A fast responsive website that is not cluttered with advertisement and has a proper markup in terms of coding as well as the markup of the text so the end-user can read without distractions and does not leave your site and goes elsewhere. A higher bounce rate is a good indication that a user found what he/she is looking for. And finally in somewhat ties into backlinks what do other random web users think of your site and the content it provides. Reviews or links as a source are a great way to determine that factor.
Content Delivery Network.
A CDN or content delivery network is a great way to gain access to more people all over the world by having your website caches in a cloud-like network. This means that the main server you work on and hosts your site is located near you, your content will be served to web users by a local server decreasing load times and increasing responsiveness. Google as others also considers load times and optimization a factor when ranking your site so even though you have basic hosting a CDN will help with those factors by speeding up that process since they always use high-end servers and internet connections.
SSL and HTTPS.
Another important change is the enforcement of the https protocol for all websites, not just websites that have online transactions. So your entire website has to be using the https://your content, to increase its ranking. This will prevent the spreading of malware and make the web a safer place. This also ties into the end-user experience. You can either get an SSL certificate to start using the https:// protocol from your hosting provider or from your CDN network.
What does it mean in practice?
Let's take my website hisevilness.com and this article as an example, it is a personal webpage of a person who writes about technology as a hobby and the YMYL would be my work in the Defense industry. And the website content is a whole spectrum of subject matter and not a single subject. I do not buy links nor do an advertise on the web all my work is organic and spreads by word to mouth.
My reason to write this article is simply that I also do overclocking of pc hardware which can also be found on the website and SEO is like overclocking your website and I like to share this on my website. In order to establish this, an algorithm or reviewer will look at my social media platforms, steam profile and other content regarding the subject matter on this website. So if you want to establish a reputation link to your social media profiles, profiles like steam, etc. This will reflect who you are as a person, in the case of a business you will have separate profiles so you should link and backlink from those to your website. Try to find older examples of any of your activities or business activities mention and link to those. Share your links on social media like tweet out if you finish an article so people can find it that way. Put your work on Pinterest but ensure you do not have a small sample size of backlinks but a wide variety of relevant backlinks to your site. By relevant is that I get backlinks from overclocking sites to my articles and not from a car sale shop. A secondary source is my online gaming adventures there a logos, screenshots of scores, etc showing that I also spend a considerable amount of time working with hardware and using that hardware. The YMYL would be my work while most of this would not even be on the internet and is even classified it does have mentions in video's like a Peshmarga T-55 tank bouncing of an ATGM(Anti-Tank-Guided-Missile)of the front armor by angling its armor just before impact resulting in a non-lethal impact and the survival of the T-55 tank crew. Google algorithms and reviewers can find these all on YouTube another Google platform. So ensure if you have YMYL content Google can find this by having an online profile that reflects that. While most people will have a much easier time getting their YMYL by getting reviews I, unfortunately, can not due to the nature of my work.
The end-user experience is important and is made easier by providing content that has a good markup in terms of the coding and in terms of the markup of the actual text. The way your code is presented to Google is important do not clutter your website with crap. Here is a snapshot of my website by GTmetrix.com: https://gtmetrix.com/reports/www.hisevilness.com/NwgNb4Cs My PageSpeed score(Google) is 96% and 83% for Yslow(Yahoo). Run the GTmetrix tool on your own website and see where you can make improvements these will cover both the coding and the content. Just to highlight one major scoring aspect is the image size in size as well as dimension make sure you serve images that fit your page and that they are not resource-intensive in terms of size(kb/mb). An easy way to optimize your images is by using https://tinypng.com/ and re-upload images that were too big in size to a smaller size also speeding up the user experience in the process. Text markup it is important to remember not to spam caps or use H1 headers, use H1 header once to lead in the article then use H2 headers to lead in paragraphs and subparagraphs with H3 headers.
Content Delivery Network.
These are just some of the changes but by far the biggest and will have the most impact on how the web user will be able to find your content for the most part on Google. It is still wise to submit your website to Bing and Yandex so it may be found by a wider audience. For a more in-depth analysis in the form of a webinar, I would refer to this YT video below as well as Google PDF distributed to the reviewers linked below. And for an in-depth SEO article, I previously have written surrounding the Joomla CMS found here: https://www.hisevilness.com/articles/technology/seo-tips-tricks-for-joomla-cms.html
Google Manual User Review Guide PDF: https://www.hisevilness.com/images/PDF_Files/searchqualityevaluatorguidelines.pdf
- Paul "HisEvilness" Ripmeester.