Search engine optimization (SEO) standards, often referred to as good practice, refer to the guidelines that search engines like Google use in order to determine the quality and relevance of a website. These standards are designed to ensure that users who seek out information online are able to find accurate, high-quality content quickly and easily. SEO standards help ensure that websites appear in the most relevant search results, while also helping protect users from low-quality or potentially malicious webpages.
Search Quality Rating Guidelines
Google sets the standard for SEO with their Search Quality Rating Guidelines. This set of guidelines provides a detailed overview of how Google evaluates websites and assigns them rankings in its search results. The guidelines cover a wide range of topics, including design elements such as page layout and navigability; content elements such as clarity and uniqueness; technical elements such as site speed, indexing, and mobile compatibility; user experience elements such as relevance, trustworthiness, and accessibility; and other considerations such as duplicate content and keyword stuffing.
Google’s guidelines provide webmasters with an effective roadmap for creating high-quality websites that can achieve high rankings in organic search results. In addition to these detailed guidelines, Google also offers numerous tools for optimizing website performance for search engine users. These tools include Google Search Console, which helps webmasters monitor their website’s performance within Google’s index, along with various analytics tools which offer insights into how users interact with a site.
What Are SEO Standards
In addition to providing detailed guidance on SEO best practices, Google also takes steps to actively enforce its SEO standards by penalizing sites that violate them through manual action or algorithmic penalties. Manual penalties involve removing pages from the search engine index or demoting them within the rankings if they contain spammy or deceptive content (such as hidden text or links). Algorithmic penalties occur when websites are penalized by algorithms because they don’t meet certain criteria such as page speed or mobile usability.
Overall, SEO standards help ensure that all websites adhere to certain quality protocols so that users can have confidence in their online experiences. By adhering to these standards set forth by Google , webmasters can create more user-friendly experiences for visitors while achieving higher rankings in organic searches. Furthermore, following these standards helps protect users from potentially malicious sites , allowing them to make informed decisions about where they choose to spend their time online .
“SEO standards” are a set of SEO best practices and risk ratings; the idea of having SEO standards is ludicrous and out-dated. Professional SEO services that try to follow these supposed standards are handing their business over to the competition. If everyone follows these standards, there’d be no way for any clients to reach the top because all clients would be receiving the same set of coding, content, etc as everybody else. And so on, and so forth ad nauseam.
Oh, and my favorite – black hatters and grey hatters are just those looking for an “extra edge”; white hatters are low risk takers, not willing to put their butts on the line for results.
Recently, I read an article about SEO risk factors vs. SEO standards. The author’s belief is that professional SEO services that comply with a set of standards will lose their competitive edge. “If everyone does the same thing, it’s like being the SEO version of an amputee.” What a wonderful argument supporting black hat tactics.
Are you new to SEO
For those that are new to SEO, let me point out that SEO is a highly competitive business, and it does help to have a “little extra” in your bag. However, this little extra doesn’t have to include keyword spamming or any number of questionable practices.
Let’s look at risk taking, shall we? Professional SEO services that follow a set of standards may spend months on one project. We are as susceptible to mistakes and errors as the next person, and those mistakes can cost us. There are times when one mistake, by one person, can lose us a client.
So, after several months of working with the client, coding, research, etc, that one mistake could cost us everything. In other words, being an SEO specialist – especially if you run your own company – is high risk in and of itself. There is never any guarantee that your client will hit number one, and believe me, most clients hire professional SEO services with just that goal in mind.
Is keyword spamming, link-farming and the like necessary to reach that first page of search engine results? No. In my mind, the argument at the beginning of this article against professional SEO services using a set of standards is a way of explaining away laziness.
It is definitely more time consuming to check the links for PR value, run the KEIs and competitor analysis, etc than to build a page full of keywords. It takes dedication and consistency for a “standardized” long-term campaign than to use white on white keywords or link-farming or other “questionable practices”.
However, while black hat tactics might show more quickly, they put the customer at risk. White hat tactics are slow to evolve, hence the dedication and consistency, but the customers don’t have to worry about being penalized.
The author ends his rant with “Deal with dirty SEOs like SEOs. If you don’t like them, outrank them.”
To that I respond – I have.
Black hatters can brag all they want about “high-risk” campaigns, but their clients deal with that risk and receive the consequences, not them. White hat professional SEO services understand that ultimately, it’s the client who will rise or fall on our merits – it’s a point of pride and our business to give them our best, as well as our privilege.