Ran across a story today on the St. Petersburg Times Business Page that confirmed what professional online content writers have always known: the best way to move up your Website in search engine rankings is to provide well-written, relevant and regularly updated information.
The story does a good job of explaining how some search engine optimization companies, some reputable and some not, use questionable cyber-tactics in their attempts to outsmart the SEO experts at Google. The quick-fix strategies these SEO tricksters use include link-farming and keyword cloaking, which the Google "bots" have been clued into for several years. Companies that are talked into using those techniques see quick results, but once Google catches on to their ruse, their progress vanishes almost overnight.
Another SEO ploy is "content farming," where untrained writers post gibberish using keywords the bots are searching for, but with no regard for whether the content is even readable, much less relevant to the topic that the user is searching for. The team at Google, which frequently changes the algorithms it uses to rank Websites, is now stepping up its efforts to track down those phony wordsmiths and rightfully penalize their Websites.
Genuine online content writers know what the search engine bots crave -- quality content that serves the fundamental purpose they want: Providing the person who is searching with the information they seek.
Granted, writing well is not easy; if it were, everybody would do it without dread or complaint. And there is a technique to knowing where to use keywords and links effectively on a Website. But people who want their Websites to shine and move up the search engine rankings with integrity and credibility, don't need a bunch of high-tech voodoo to achieve their goal. They need only take a cue from Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft. Back in 1990s Gates was asked what would drive long-term use of the World Wide Web. His response was succinct endures today:
"Content is king."