High Search Engine Rankings – A Long Term Strategy
The last 1.5 years have shown major changes in search engine behavior across the board. Algorithms change at random dates. Websites that ranked great in search results are suddenly completely wiped out from the search index. It becomes less and less predictable what a certain change to your website will get for results. A major change to a website or the way how it is promoted could have a major impact on search engine success for that website.
Webmasters need to gear to up to stay ahead of the game. As changes cannot easily be reversed to re-establish search engine ranking a website could be dead in the water for 3-6 months before it eventually recovers. It might actually not recover at all and becomes dead internet real estate. The difficulty every webmaster is facing – each major search engine uses different criteria to judge a website and how high it will be listed in search results. Success in MSN does not necessarily mean success in Google or Yahoo and vice versa.
To further see the impact of search engine changes one also has to consider who is affected most. The “aggressive” webmaster with lots of affiliate shopping websites and websites mainly build to generate advertising income will certainly see a different impact compared to a webmaster that is going a much more conservative way. There is a major difference in building a website for short-term success (or mid-term for the matter in Internet terms) and in building a website for long-term success.
Search engines will (or partially already have) develop filters to sort out websites with certain type of content or that promote certain type of services. This way they hope to increase the quality of the search results and to provide better quality of service to their clients/visitors.
Webmasters looking for long-term success need to change the way how they operate to succeed. Unless you have a lot of money you can throw at the problem (advertising, marketing), you need to work very conservative in regards to search engine optimization and how to achieve high search engine listings/rankings. Plan projects a long time in advance. Buy domain names way ahead of schedule and place some content on them to get them indexed and accounted for. A domain name being 2 years old or more (and indexed for that period of time) is more valuable than a 2 week old domain name registration with some duplicate content. Slowly build back links to the new domain. Search engines seem to be looking at back links in a way that a large increase of back links in a very short period of time is less valuable or reason to suspect brute force search engine optimization (brute force SEO) which can result in complete removal from the search index. So, a strategy of slowly increasing the number of back links is more desirable and will be more effective for the long term success. Do not do anything on a website that does not look ‘natural’ in regards to growth. Adding 1,000+ pages in a day does not look natural. Adding 25 pages of content over a week looks much more natural. Time does a good thing. A site becomes more popular and also gets more back links. With the increased popularity an increase in the growth rate does not look as much problematic anymore. Now adding 50 pages of content in a week just matches the overall growth rate much better. And again – time passes by and the popularity goes up (ideal case). An increase in adding back links and content just looks more natural.
This sort of natural growth will be important to achieve search engine success in the future. The second key is good, high quality content and easy to read URLs. A combination of these two key ingredients will almost guarantee success in how your website is ranked in search engines.