- Behavioral signals are far more important to ranking than in recent years.
- Organic traffic is still the most important traffic channel for business.
- Search engines have evolved to make their systems hard to “game” with trickery.
To be ranked in the organic listings, your site must have some qualities that the search engines have learned to trust. Among these are
“Natural” links to your site from other relevant sites is still one of the most effective and hardest SEO tasks to accomplish. The very fact that it’s difficult to “game” this process is why search engines continue to use it so heavily as a ranking factor.
Things have shifted as the search engines matured. There is a lot more intelligence (AI) in the algorithms they use and the ways they choose what to rank is driven much more by user behavior than ever. In short, they working to simulate the searcher’s behavior and judgment. When we talked with a Google engineer at a recent conference, they said: “We want Google to be like the best librarian in the world, neutral, open, but very knowledgeable about where to find the best possible content for any question.” This desire by Google engineers to make the search engine act like a human librarian has led them to increasingly leverage behavior signals into account when ranking pages. As big data and artificial intelligence are further utilized in the rank algorithm, you must create content with real value, aimed at real people’s needs.
But even now, some businesses choose to forgo 80% of potential traffic – with potentially large opportunity cost. Why is this? Well, here are some reasons I’ve encountered.
Investing in good advice and consulting can help you become far more competitive, much more quickly, by avoiding mistakes and using your available resources where they matter most.