Today there are more tools available for website promotion and best website design than ever before. So many people just starting in search engine optimization look at all these options and ask “which one is the best?” It’s an understandable thing to ask but it misses one of the key elements of a good SEO strategy, and that’s diversity. One of the reasons so many tools have developed and flourished is because simplistic strategies built around one tactic have become less and less trustworthy as Google has become more powerful.
Google is constantly changing. Their newly announced Hummingbird update is the latest reminder of this fact. The engineers behind the site are trying to create an engine that recreates the way humans look for sites in the most sophisticated way possible. Google looks at a lot of factors when determining a site’s quality, and one thing it looks for is diversity. Once upon a time people could simply pack their site with a handful of keywords and end up ranking for them. So what did Google do? They changed their engine to recognize these kind of overly-focused websites and punish them. While most SEOs today don’t try anything quite so brazen you have to ask yourself if your site might appear artificially optimized in any other ways.
Another common mistake people make is allowing their link profile to develop artificially. Do all your links use the same anchor text? How many “nofollow” links do you have? While it’s tempting to chase big benefits from follow links with exact match keywords you’ll end up creating a very suspicious link profile that may threaten your entire site. The people at Google are smart and they’ve caught onto these tricks. Compare this sort of clearly artificial link building with the way organic links arise. When random people start linking to content do you think they worry too much about how they “build” links or do they just do whatever comes naturally? Your link profile should look messy, it should look diverse.
On the topic of link building you should try to seek links from a wide range of sources. Think about how Google’s Panda and Penguin sites hit content directories. People who had built all of their links using those kinds of sites saw their rankings plummet overnight. SEOs who used more diverse methods of building links weren’t as hurt. It’s like a 4 legged chair versus a 3 legged chair. With 4 legs you can lose one and still stand but the 2 legged chair can’t remain upright. The more places you draw links from the less likely it is that you’ll see an overnight catastrophe destroy your ranking.
You have to remember that just because a trick has worked for as long as you can remember it doesn’t mean that the good times will continue forever. All good things come to an end, and when they do will you have something to fall back on? The more diverse your tactics, the more flexible your methods are the better prepared you’ll be for whatever the future has in store.