Search engine optimization is the ever-changing process of trying to give search engines exactly what they want. SEO has changed a lot since the first days of the Internet. Website owners and designers used to be able to include something called “metatags” – but now if you start metatagging you’ll be blacklisted in a hurry. Many of the SEO tricks and tips that used to be important are now irrelevant, and we can expect that today’s SEO strategies will also change. This makes SEO seem like an impossible task, but the fact is that there is one bottom line to stay focused on: give search engines what they want and you’ll be optimizing your website for relevant searches.
Content That Makes Sense
The problem with metatags is that they were inserted into the background of a website just to attract attention. A porn website could put metatags in their site and draw every Google search for any random Internet search. Maybe you searched for “cute monkeys” because a cute monkey video was posted and everyone is watching it. Anyone with a website, who knows that the search term “cute monkeys” is incredibly popular at the moment, can put that phrase into the background as a metatag and attract the entire Internet, even if their site has nothing to do with monkeys.
So search engines started to view metatags as a hazard rather than a way to identify relevant content. They improved the search engine algorithm so that a metatag could be used against a site rather than improving ranking for the words found as metatags.
Why did search engines do this? Because the whole point of a search engine is to find information, products, and services that the search engine users wants to find. If you search for cute monkeys but get a porn site, you’re not going to be very confident about the search engine you used. The reason why Google is such a well known and well used search engine is because they have developed so many protections for their users, giving users good information rather than allowing junk websites to filter to the top of search results.
An Ongoing Battle
However, Google and other search engines, really does want quality sites to understand how to improve rankings. So they do give out clues about what they are looking for. Read up on Google’s keyword tool website, or on their other help sites, and you’ll notice a common thread throughout their videos, text, and tutorials.
Search engines are fighting a constant battle against crappy, useless content. Plenty of people are putting crappy content out into the world, in an effort to attract attention and make some money with advertising or video hits. It’s up to the search engines to find the good stuff in between the junk. You can help them and do yourself a favor, by providing good stuff rather than succumbing to the temptation to over-use SEO tools.