The SEO techniques (Search Engine Optimization) have changed a lot over the last few years, driven by the radical changes that have characterized search engines and the increasingly massive introduction of artificial intelligence for search activities. ranking and proposition of contents to end users.
Search engines like Google have constantly updated their algorithms to provide Search Results more relevant and high quality to users. These updates are aimed at identifying and penalizing incorrect SEO practices and rewarding them quality content, relevant and useful. Limiting ourselves to Google, however, theecosystem of the Mountain View company has become increasingly “liquid” with a notable number of services which, in different ways, contribute to determining the visibility of every single project published on the Web.
With the increase in the use of mobile devices and voice assistantsFurthermore, search models have changed. The query vocali they are often more conversational and require very different optimization tasks.
The old SEO is dead and the new one has undergone an involution
For some time now, voices have been regularly raised criticizing the quality of results provided first by search engines in the SERPs (search engine results page). More and more often it is pointed out that “content farm“, sites that host pages that are not very relevant to users, still manage to overtake sites with one reputation it’s a’authority on paper much larger.
According to some, certain SEO experts exploit the “weaknesses” of algorithms to manipulate the results provided by search engine and propose, to as many users as possible, web pages that should not be in such high positions.
The constant evolution of search algorithms has led to cycles of adaptation by SEO specialists, resulting in the exploitation of “loopholes”, then followed by search engine updates to combat practices deemed unfair or misleading. Google’s increasingly frequent and massive core updates represent the clearest evidence of the countermeasures that the leading company of Search online is putting it into practice.
Many strategie SEO not allowed today try to “force” the system rather than focus on improving the quality of websites. This is a fact.
Ah…, when Matt Cutts was there
One of the comments that occur most often when looking at home Google Search is the exclamation: “ah, when Matt Cutts was there, everything worked better…” The author of the previously mentioned article also talks about it.
Until 2015, a figure like that of Matt Cutts acted as an intermediary between SEO specialists and Google, showed an open and thoughtful attitude towards criticism and requests for feedback, regularly published suggestions on how to optimize one’s online presence in full compliance with the “rules of the game”.
It must be said that from 2015 to today, Google and Search have changed a lot. Talking about 2015 or even previous years is a bit like trying to compare dinosaurs and dogs. Google continues to focus on the concept of E-A-T (Experience, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) as a cornerstone for evaluating the quality of the information provided by websites and, consequently, defining their positioning.
Danny Sullivan (Google) responds to criticism
Today there is a link between Google and users Danny Sullivan who has assumed the role of since 2017 Public Liaison for Search in the company founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Feeling directly called into question, Sullivan published a long article in which he addresses in detail the role of SEO specialists and how Google’s position has changed over time.
The Google manager is keen to point out, however, that what is reported in the article is entirely the result of his personal analysis, which may not necessarily reflect that of the company he works for.
Sullyvan begins by specifying that Cutts’ role was not exactly that of establishing relationships outside the company but rather of developing effective solutions to combat the spam content. Instead there is a team, which is called Search Relationswhich did not exist in the past and which today is responsible for promoting good communication with the Web ecosystem by guiding the content creators in the best possible way.
On one point in particular Sullyvan seems unwilling to compromise: Google Search, among others, is based on one rule very important call”Honest Results“. No one receives or can receive help to position themselves better in the SERP; furthermore Sullyvan denies speaking to any private person to provide advice. This would violate the policy “Honest Results“.
The Google executive insists on the fact that the path to follow remains and will always remain that of creating useful content for people, not optimized for a bot, some could be that of the search engine. He explains that that guide is part of a larger series of indications, Google Search Essentials, to which those who produce and publish content for the web should draw heavily, every single day. And he complains about the fact that too often these general guidelines are promptly forgotten and set aside.
Just a few days ago, there Sullyvan’s stance on had sparked a very long queue of comments. With a further clarification, Sullyvan noted that on the Web anyone can and should write about whatever they want, not about the things you think Google likes. Again, content for people, not search engines.
“If you’re talking about specific things, content creators are overly obsessed with doing specific things rather than the overall look our systems try to reward“, he observes again. “The crucial aspect is to create quality content, content designed for people, which leaves them satisfied. We use signals that align with this goal. Listing these specific individual signals would lead people to focus on individual aspects rather than favoring the general approach which is the path to success“.
SEO is alive and well according to Sullivan
In his long analysis, Sullyvan admitted that Google search results can certainly be subject to improvement and that indeed the objective is precisely to provide as answers the very contents that each user expects to find, for each individual query.
On the other hand, however, SEO – understood as that set of practices that help position yourself on search engines offering content that is appreciated by user-readers – is alive and well according to the Google manager. SEO can’t look at spam by definition, he notes. And indeed, Google fights spam content.
The good SEO practiceshowever, are the subject of a dedicated guide entitled “Introductory guide to search engine optimization (SEO)”: these are the aspects that Google would like to recommend to all those who own, manage, monetize or promote online content .
SEO, as Google defines it, is an activity that falls within the guidelines set by the company and that can help identify and better understand the contents published on websites.”SEO is not a magic elixir that makes content rank well“, observes Sullivan.