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Ask some search engine optimisation (SEO) consultants to explain how they operate and you will get confused quite quickly.

Sometimes this is because the SEO consultant doesn't want to reveal his or her 'secrets', but more often than not it is because SEO is a highly technical subject and, unless you are a web designer or programmer, it is hard to understand.

The best part about natural SEO, however, is that there really is no secret.

Google has thousands of PhD's working every single day to make sure its algorithm consistently picks out the best websites and most relevant search results while leaving useless sites down on page 7.

This algorithm is designed to pick out not only the sites that searchers expect to see at the top, but also the pages that they want to see. 

It is about picking the results that the searcher would have chosen if he or she already knew about the subject they were searching for.

Countless search results for major queries have a well known brand at the top. One that advertises on the TV every day. This isn't a coincidence.

If a Google search for “car insurance” was full of websites nobody had ever heard of something would be wrong and users wouldn't be happy.

Truly the best method of getting your website to the top of the search engines is to be a leading brand in your niche.

Starting a new site and expecting to rank higher than established brands is almost always an impossible dream.

If you are a bigger brand with a better and more useful website than somebody who ranks higher than you, then it isn't your site that's the problem, it's Google's algorithm.

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Published 17 January, 2008 by Patrick Altoft

55 more posts from this author

Comments (5)

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Stephen Pratley

That's a nice idea in principle, but the reality is far different.

1) There are still many big-brand sites that provide an awful user experience and aren't accessible to search engine spiders so don't get the respect their brands deserve - hence the technical aspects of SEO that are still valuable.

2) Once you get beyond 1 or 2 word search terms there is often not enough data for Google to work on effectively, leaving the way open for manipulation

3) There are countless holes in the algorithm that are still effective to exploit
Google still can't tell the difference between an honestly given link and one that has been given for money - a short term gain, but potentially profitable from some businesses.

4) Just like brand consultants in the offline world, good SEO's know where the 'valuable' links that enhace your reputation come from and how to get those sites talking about you. This is knowledge that has been gained through testing and experience.

Just expecting to be able to sit back and let Google take care of your SEO ranking is a very naive approach, just as failing to constantly enhance your brand reputation is.

Brands have very little value in Google's eyes, just relevance and a good user experience so the opportunity for a good quality site to beat established brands in the search results is very much there.

over 8 years ago

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Gordon

"If you are a bigger brand with a better and more useful website than somebody who ranks higher than you, then it isn't your site that's the problem, it's Google's algorithm."

I really like this !! this is correct... But, in the end..you want business. So, SEO proccess will come in..

again.. who cares how good or how bad Google is...you just want to rank well and get business..

over 8 years ago

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root123

Looks very convincing at first glance, but digging deeper for example if I want to search for a service or product or info from a popular brand than I already have enough stats for that coz the brand is a popular one....As such I need not have to take the help of google for that matter.

over 8 years ago

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Manoj

A few questions must be considered:
What does it take to be the leading brand in a niche? what is the cost?
How does it matter to an online marketer if the problem is with Google's algorithm whose objective is to effectively reach his/her target audience via search?

over 8 years ago

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Rahul Dighe

Hi,

given the preponderance of so many users to use the search engine "google" as their first place to start looking for something online, i think whatever is google's problem is automatically your problem - the organization has to make a choice how far it is willing is to change its architecture to adapt to how people use the web

of course SEO consultants have to tell you that they know something more than the PHd's that work for google and can get your website to rank higher but its by no means a magic wand there are some basic things that every organization that wants it presence to be known has to undertake but i think its a more comprehensive approach than just technical SEO, if the company is not eventually able to gain mindshare no matter how it ranks it will almost certainly not be clicked upon.

over 8 years ago

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