Almost everywhere we look, we see imitation: wood laminate, faux fur, wannabe Prada and Coach bags. You name it. If there’s a quality product out there, there’s someone else trying to look like the real thing.
While imitation may be the highest form of flattery, it’s the lowest form of spam when it comes to search engine optimization.
If there’s anything continuous updates to Google’s search engine algorithms teach us, it’s this: be authentic.
Authenticity can’t be manufactured. But it can be evaluated to a certain degree. Consider this definition of the word from the Collins English Dictionary:
Authentic – adj
- Of undisputed origin or authorship; genuine
- Accurate in representation of the facts; trustworthy; reliable
- (of a deed or other document) duly executed, any necessary legal formalities having been complied with
So how do you build an authentic online presence? Using the above definition, start by:
Creating quality content that is of undisputed origin.
The search engines evaluate the content of a site to determine how it meets the needs of potential queries posed by people. If Panda taught us anything, low-quality content will get you nowhere fast. Make sure every page on your site has a purpose. Fill your site with original content that meets a need.
Developing a trustworthy site.
Just as in life, creating trust with the search engines is a process that takes time. When determining the trustworthiness of a site, the search engines consider things like the age of your domain, the quality of the content, the number of reputable websites that link back to your website, the level of social engagement, etc. Don’t rush this process.
Complying with the latest standards and guidelines of the search engines.
The search engines regularly update their algorithms to better combat spam and provide people with more relevant results. Make sure your website stays current with the practices of quality websites as continually-defined by the search engines.
If you want to achieve maximum success in the search engines, invest your time and energy into establishing an authentic online presence. Good results in the search engines take time. And just like any relationship, in order to keep those results, you need to maintain the relationship over time—proving your consistency and authenticity over the long run.