The search engine optimization industry has changed over the years. However, the basic principles remained the same. I’ll try to cover here some of the main things you should focus on in order to become and stay strong in the search engine results.
One thing before we start: Understand this is a relative game. You don’t have to reach some absolute goal to rank #1 for a particular keyword. All you need to do is to be ‘better’ than the guy who is on the #1 spot.
Build domain authority
Every link to any page on your domain is counted as a ‘vote’ by the search engines. You should focus on getting links from as many (reputable, not spam) domains as possible.
There’s been some research which confirms what I’m saying above.
Build individual page authority
Use the 80/20 rule (I’ll refer to it here as 90/10 because it is a more accurate measure for the web world.) Focus on building links on the top 10 pages that rank for the phrases you want in the search engines.
Before search engines started counting entire domains (domain authority), they pretty much focused on raking individual pages and the domain had not so big influence. This is true to some extent today.
Be smart enough to know when you’re getting lucky
Focus on the winners, not the losers. How many times have we stopped doing what’s working and focused on what’s NOT working? Well, from experience you know that what’s not working is probably not going to start working soon. So focus on what brings you results (that will be smart percentage of your efforts, refer to the 90/10 rule.)
10% of your pages probably get around 50-90% of the traffic. Instead of focusing most of your efforts on pages that don’t rank, focus on improving those pages that already rank! Remember the phrase “The rich get richer?” Same with the SERPs.
Here’s another good analogy: did you know that Google has around 100 services? You probably haven’t heard of most of them. What would happen if Google started focusing the majority of their efforts on products that are not so popular instead of getting new features for their main search engine and Gmail? I’m sure they would be surpassed by other competitors and go out of business sooner or later.
I hope you enjoyed this post.