SEO is not a practice that’s set in stone. It takes years of practice, hear-say, trial and error and voodoo. Basic SEO methods are well known around the web world while many other less known methods are often kept in a company or in an individual SEO programmers brain never to make an appearance in the public domain due to the value of this knowledge.
It is easy to forget the true aim of what you’re doing and forget that Google is on your side!
Many of the methods that I’ve seen in my years of web development are tailored to try and trick Google into ranking the site higher. What they seem to forget is that Google is well aware of this and has many measures in place to counter it and in some cases punish the owner of the site.
There are many examples of this across the web, from altering the content delivered depending on the user agent, to keyword stuffing and many other so called tricks.
Google’s most basic function is to provide the best content based on what a user requires. In the past it has been possible to use some of these tricks with good effect, but these days Google is far too intelligent to fall for these tricks and you will almost certainly hurt your rankings by using them.
Your mindset when trying to optimize your site for Google should be working out if the content you have on your site is what the user will be looking for. If it is, your site will rank well and you wont need to worry too much about trying to trick Google. If your content is vaguely what people will be looking for, then maybe you should look at improving this content instead of tying to fool Google to rank you higher. Even if you do manage to get top spot on Google and your site is not what people want, your bounce rate will be high and conversion rate will be low making the whole task pointless.
Google’s aim is to provide the best matched content for what people are searched for. They have many, many people constantly tweaking the algorithms to try and deliver this. You can be top of the SERP’s, then literally a couple of hours later, you might not be anywhere to be seen.
Google Webmaster Tools is a fantastic tool for helping you figure out what you are doing is right. There are many tutorials out there on how to use GWT so I won’t bother doing that. It is an amazing tool that no webmaster should be without. Using that along with Google Analytics will give you a massive help in getting your site optimized to appear higher on Google.
So stop using SEO to try and fool Google. Like parents of a naughty child, they know exactly what you are doing. They have been there before, and got the T-Shirt. Use Google as a friend and you’ll be ranking in no time.
Good luck and have fun!.