There is no wizardry in SEOYou’ve read the reports, seen the experts authoritatively tout that their method works, and have heard from SEO gurus that they know what Google wants.

“Google likes….”, “Google wants to see….”

The question is: How do they know that? Did Google tell them? Do they have some kind of inside track to one of the most closely guarded industrial secrets on Earth? “The Algorithm” is the holy grail of internet search, and Google’s entire multi-billion-dollar business rides on it. It’s safe to say that they’re not leaking tips to any “experts”.

Yet there is a whole mini-industry built on this very concept: “We know something about Google that others don’t”.

Here’s the big secret: There is no secret. Google’s algorithm is incredibly complex and extremely smart. They know that useless cruft stuffed with repeating “keywords” is just an attempt to game the system. They know about your magic “densities” and they know about your tricks. You’re not fooling them.

When you are responsible for content for yourself or a client, you have to resist the urge to write things that you think will rank well, because you’re not writing for a robot. You’re writing for other human beings.

A recent article on Copyblogger entitled “SEO Copywriting Made Simple” has one nugget of information that stuck with me, and I feel it needs to be shouted from the rooftops:

Modern SEO is all about crafting content so compelling that other people want to promote it by linking to it or sharing it, which increases your trust and authority and helps the pages you want to rank well for certain keywords.

Crafting content so compelling that other people want to promote it.

Think about the things you share with your social networks: things that you think are so useful, so funny, so interesting, or so helpful that you want your friends to experience them as well. We’ve all invested time into our individual social networks, and over the years have developed a following of friends, family, and associates that trust us and our content. When you send something to them, they know that it means something to you, and chances are, they’ll read it.

That’s the kind of content you need to be creating, and that’s the kind of content that works well. If it’s good, it’ll rise to the top. No magic, voodoo, or sorcery necessary.

It’s not easy. It’s not a game for everyone. It takes skill,¬†perseverance, dedication, and personality. Then again, when has success ever not needed those things?

Photo Credit: Sean McGrath on Flickr