Google doesn’t trust you. If Google doesn’t trust you, you’re not going to rank on those lucrative first-page SERPs. So, the first real guiding principle of SEO is trust. When you have Google’s trust, you’ll consistently rank highly. When you lack its trust, you’ll be lost in an abysmal sea of low-ranking webpages.
3 components that comprise Google’s trust:
Trust Component #1: Indexed Age
Google cares deeply about the indexed age of both your site and its content. Indexed age refers to the date that Google discovered the domain or webpage in question, not when it was originally registered or released.
Trust Component #2: Authority Profile
Google cares about the importance of the sites that are linking to your domain, but also the quality of the content those links are coming from. Further, it’s looking for IP-diverse links, meaning they shouldn’t all be coming from the same source. And it’s looking for a healthy link velocity where high-quality links are being created with increased frequency over time.
Trust Component #3: Underlying Content
The content not only has to be lengthy, but it has to be well-written, keyword centric and highly engaging where readers are spending a good amount of time digesting and consuming that content.
Rules to dominate SEO in 2017:
#1 — Always Work To Gain Google’s Trust
If Google just found out about you, no matter when you first registered that domain name, it’s going to look at you with suspect. It won’t trust you, thus, you won’t rank high, no matter what strategy you attempt to implement.
This is the greatest barrier to entry in SEO that possibly exists, but there’s a method to the search engine’s madness, and much of it has to do with those unsavory characters who were so hell-bent on bending the rules. Today, Google knows about all your schemes, so don’t even bother with them if you’re looking to build its trust.
#2 — Age Always Comes Before Beauty
Your website’s age is more important than its beauty. No matter how good your site looks, what Google is really looking for is link-consistency over time. This has to do with both the freshness of content, and the indexed age of the site. It’s an amalgamation of factors that relate to age. What’s the velocity of links being created over time? How much high-quality content is linking to your site and on what schedule?
#3 — Quality Will Trump Quantity Every Single Time
Don’t worry so much about pushing out a certain amount of content every singled day; worry about pushing out good content every single week. That’s what Google cares about — quality.
#4 — Content Will Always Be King
Clearly, in order to succeed with content marketing, you need to deliver enormous amounts of value. You need to genuinely assist people with answering a question or understanding a topic. You can’t do that if you skimp on the content.
#5 — Regardless Of What You’ve Heard, Size Really Does Matter
Thin content is content without much meat on the bones. Not only is it short on length, but it’s short on value because of it. You can’t expect to deliver big on value when you write a 500-word article. Even when you write an article that’s less than 1,000 words, it’s hard to compete against those who are delivering far more than that.
#6 — Keywords, Keywords, Keywords, But Don’t Overdo It
Google wants content made for humans. But you also have to tailor the content for search engine.
Google’s Hummingbird engine uses LSI as a way to determine the similarities between words and phrases. So, something like “best diets for losing weight quickly” would be semantically similar to “top weight loss diets that work fast.” LSI keywords are relevant and similar keywords that make the writing more organic in nature.
Your aim? Make your content keyword-centric, but don’t bombast the exact keywords over and over again. Use a healthy ratio of 70 to 80% LSI keywords to the 30 to 20% of exact match keywords. What you want is your content to sound natural and organic, and not have to force keywords. But you also want to ensure that similar phrases to your primary keyword appear enough times.
#7 — Step Up Your Mobile Game
Mobile searches are now outpacing desktop searches, and Google is furiously focused on mobile.
In fact, it’s so focused on mobile that it’s helped to launch the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project into the mainstream. What you’ll notice on most mobile devices, is a little tag that says ‘AMP’ meaning that the post adheres to the AMP specifications, which you can find here.
#8 — Location, Location, Location (Of Your Links, Of Course)
A link from Forbes is far more valuable than thousands of low-quality links, especially when that link is coming from relevant content. That doesn’t mean you need a link from Forbes to excel with SEO, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to find authority domains that will link to you.
Develop external content on authority sites that would then link to your content, delivering enormous amounts of powerful link juice.