Should webmasters focus on more than just ranking in search results?

GoogleWebmasterHelp just uploaded this video and it was one that really struck a chord with me. Almost on the daily, I read about people and companies who are offering tips & tricks on how to get better rankings in Google—most of which charge money for their services. While charging money for services is not a problem, guaranteeing anyone that their website or brand will be in some pre-defined position in Google’s search results is.

As Matt Cutts clearly states in this video, the focus should not be on trying to beat the system. Often people claim to have ‘cracked the code’ so to speak, and found a way to rank higher in Google (and other search engines for that matter), but since Google always changes, nothing lasts forever.

The point is, no matter what you’re goal is online, if you want to rank higher in the search results, create content that people are searching for and make it great! Also, be prepared to keep doing it because there’s no such thing as creating a website and letting it sit. Sure you might be number one today, but as time goes on, you’ll slip as more and more people begin competing with you.

It’s that “keep doing it” part that stops so many people from succeeding online. For most of us, writing blogs or selling trinkets online is a hobby—we do it to pass time, make a little extra income or just vent to the world. Because of our regular lives, we don’t always have the time to stay on top of things online. But rather than get discouraged and resort to black hat tricks like auto-generating content, blasting your links out through email campaigns or link farms or taking paid articles from known spammy companies, you should focus on your own content, your own products and/or your own voice.

When trying to get more traffic to your site, if your primary concern is trying to figure out how Google works, then you’re in it for the wrong reasons! It’s interesting to watch as Google begins to talk about a new update and we watch all the online SEO “masters” talk about how things will change, what to do to get your site back at number one, etc., etc. Then the change happens and the whole community complains about how their rankings were upset. During all of this, nobody is talking about creating better (and newer) content. And then here I am…I run my little site the way I want, I post when I have the time, I engage my users on Facebook and Google+ and regardless of what Google throws at me, my site has enjoyed a steady stream of traffic.

All in all, there’s no secret folks. Learning to rank at number one is great for a few weeks or months, but when that tapers off, nothing can save you. Just stay focused on your goal—the content. Make it good and make it desirable. The visitors will carry you to the top.

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