In December of 2014, I shot a video about the Undying Principles of SEO. The main idea was that, despite many statements to the contrary, the fundamentals of SEO have not really changed that much over the years and will continue to be the same for years to come.
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Hi. David Hood, here, the Dallas SEO Geek. This video is a review of a video a shot 18 months ago in December of 2014 about the undying SEO principles. I said, in there, here’s some principles that are going to be true, not just now, but many years in the future, and have been true for the most part for many years in the past. This is just a check-up 18 months later. Are they still valid? They should definitely still be valid.
One thing to understand, here, is part of what makes things unchanging for a lot of people, even with major updates. Usually, about 1% or less of the search results are affected. You could go through 10 major updates and not see a blip of a change on your site. That’s something to keep in mind. These updates usually don’t affect a whole lot of results. Pretty rare, now a days, that things change a lot.
Why do I have a picture of a McDonald’s cheeseburger? That’s because one thing to consider is, is McDonald’s going to suddenly change their cheeseburger? Are they going to stop selling cheeseburgers and sell goat burgers instead? Well, no. This is the core of their business, is the cheeseburger. Google’s algorithm is core of their business. They’re not going to make massive changes to their algorithm, in general. They do make updates and improvements, but it’s not going to be wildly different in a year, a year from now. So far, so good. This actually has nothing to do with some of the stuff I said.
There’s three pillars to SEO, and that covers all the different things that I talked about in video, and I’m going to go over them more individually. Generally, there’s three main things that, you do these well, then you’ll rank well. on-page, off-page, and engagement. Those three things together encapsulate lots of different activities. Pretty much anything you can think of. It encapsulates all of the things below, it will encapsulate. If you do those things well, or vice versa, some people they think you can just do on-page. We’ll talk about that. And rank really well. That can happen, it’s unlikely to. It’s about maximizing your chances for success.
Relevancy. This was in the video. Is it still important? Yes, it’s still very important. In fact, I think it’s a little bit more important in that Google continues to try to incorporate this and understand it better. It’s still difficult to check precisely. Technically, things that are interconnected could still be connected. They can have weird connections. Google allows for things that are not relevant to still be able to give relevancy that are outside what they normally would be able to give. Overall, is it important? If you wanted to rank you site about injury lawyers, you wouldn’t put a bunch of dentists content on there, a bunch of stuff about teeth. That’s obviously important. Also, for your links. If all your links are about dentists, but then your trying to link your site for injury lawyer, then it’s going to be very difficult.
Simple on-page. I’ve shot several videos, and talked many times about how technically the on-page is pretty simple. You don’t need to go into too much detail. This is something that is a common amateur mistake. When you have web designers, or people who just starting in SEO, or people who are just using the really common, canned, version of SEO out there, they just do on-page. They do a lot of minutia on there. There’s so many little things they just try to do to check off. I’m moving, therefore, I’m making progress which is not true.
Most of the battle happens with just a few simple things, your titles, your URLs, and your interlinking. You do those three things well, engagements aside, I’ll assume Google doesn’t have any engagement metrics on you, and your site is generally engaging, then that’s really all you need to do from an on-page technical standpoint. That is most of the battle. If people are going in there, and you know image tags, technically that’s important, but it’s very minor. There’s a lot of stuff like that. If they’re talking a lot about your meta tags and your H1s, again, that stuff can affect things. It’s something you want to look at eventually. It’s not where you start, for sure. A lot of times, that is only going to have minor, minor effects. It’s not going to really make or break you unless you do something really, really, wrong.
Engagement metrics, so important. I have Trump here. I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about like a trump card. This is the ultimate trump. If your site is super engaging, when Google sends you traffic from its search engines, that is a trump card. You can lose all your links, and you can be spammed, you could have a competitor spam you, and if you have high engagement, and you’ve already got that traffic, and Google is sending you there, it’s going to be pretty stinking hard to knock you off. This goes pretty deep.
This goes to video. This is why videos was so important. People just click on them and be engaged. Even if you get them to watch a video for 30 seconds, a lot of times that’s a win right there. That’s more than what some of your competitors will get. It’s a certain amount of engagement. Vice versa, if you had a really, really, ugly site, or for whatever reason, it really turned off your market, Google sends visitors there, they bounce back immediately, they look for more in the search results, you’re not going to be ranked in there for very long, or you’re going to have to really make up for that in other ways, and be very expensive. This doesn’t mean you have to have the perfect site that you’re constantly tweaking to get perfect. You can do that, it just means that you don’t want to really fail in this area. You can make it pretty easy only yourself just by making videos.
Links. Is off-page popularity still important? Yes. Google tests this. They test, in-house, algorithms that don’t incorporate links. Guess what? Their search results are much worse. This is one of the main things that made Google their money and grabbed all their market share. In the late 90s, no one else was really doing that, or they were doing it to a much, much, less degree to what Google did. Google came in and their search results, low and behold, were much, much, better. Do you think they’re going to come in and turn this off? No. Not any time soon. Maybe the way they look at them will get a little different, a little bit more sophisticated. They’ll kind of turn some dial here, but you need this.
This goes back to the amateur mistake. They just do the on-page, and then they don’t do any off-page, and the site just sits there. It’s not popular. You need to show Google that you’re popular. Without that, you’re not going to rank for anything competitive. Yeah, sometimes for low competition stuff, you can rank with just on-page, or you can get lucky and maybe you’ll get something shared, or whatever. There’s other things that can happen. If you want to dramatically, dramatically, increase the chances that you will rank highly for valuable search phrases, then you need some off-page.
Site structure. This is also in the video. All these were in the video. Still important and useful? Yeah. Over the last 10 years, it has been important. What is site structure, if you haven’t watch the video? It’s essentially how your page is interlinked. I talked about that. If you look it like this is your homepage, these are, maybe, your main categories for your site, and here’s your sub-categories. These arrows are links. What’s important here is not to link these two together, and not to link this page to this page. What ends up happening, there’s more to it than that, but what ends up happening when you do this right, it creates little pockets of relevance that make it so that you don’t need as many links to rank. It just makes it a lot easier to rank for the low volume search phrases.
A lot of people, they just try to rank their homepage for their top three or five terms. While that can work, it’s a lot harder. You’re setting up more work for yourself. You’ve got the same 80% of people going after the same 20% of traffic. I like to target that other 80% of traffic that nobody’s really targeting, along with the other 20% that people are targeting. You just get a whole bunch of win because of that.
In conclusion, the undying principles are still alive and pretty much exactly as they were at their core. I think Google is looking for even more engagement. They’re trying to gather more data and analyze more data on that. That’s still important. Again, it’s the trump card. You can’t start with engagement. Right? You don’t have any traffic when you first launch your site. It’s tough to get, but if you can get it, that’s really great. There’s other ways to get traffic other than through the search engines. That’s if you have a highly engaging site, and you can get that traffic from Google, then they definitely see it, and then that’s going to help you a lot for sure, across a lot of search phrases. Let me know if you have any questions, or if you want me to look at the unchanging principles for your website. Submit a discover form, and we can go from there. Thanks for watching, and have a great day. Bye.