For several years SEO has been the magic acronym which created a brand new group of “science-like” jargon and mystery terms. Reaching that top spot on Google is something everyone wants for their site, and many have paid dearly to either reach that mountaintop or are continuing to hire guides to help with the ascent. Some brave site owners have ventured into the world of new knowledge and decided to try it themselves. For those who want a break from bending their minds around new concepts and wish to set aside that homemade dictionary of terms they are creating, it is time for a dosage of truth. Based on one million Google results explaining what they are looking for in 2016 is so simple it borders on ridiculous.

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What Lurks Behind the Curtain:

What most of us have been hearing and seeing for many years is the fire and smoke of the all- powerful “Wizard of Google(formerly reserved for Oz).” It has been a Fairy Tale told by many who professionally practice the dark arts of SEO. The doctrine may have been designed to keep people in the “dark” by weaving a web of confusion, and if that was the case, it has truly been a work of “art.” Spreading the belief that manipulating the search engine with several shortcuts, automated backlinks, and loads of small articles all about 400 words in length were the order of the day. Creating nonsensical collections of keywords jammed together to trap unsuspecting searchers was the trend. Long articles about a significant topic which genuinely captured the reader’s interest were accepted but frowned upon as requiring too much effort.

Everyone knows that the one hiding behind the curtain was eventually exposed to be a harmless old man who offered nothing more than common sense solutions. Google is exactly like that old man behind the curtain. The “curtain” may have been built around them to relay their message to business owners in a much more complicated format which would require a paid interpreter to understand. For Google it was if they had been thrown into the political arena but were being misrepresented by all sides who wanted to vilify them to carve out an expert SEO industry for profit. It appears after all of the chanting and misconceptions are pulled back Google was not guilty of creating “witchcraft for web-ranking.” In reality, it was those who appeared to be pointing the finger of blame at Google for creating all of the hoops required for top-ranking and they were benefiting the most. When it comes to being rewarded Google expects site owners to do the right thing. The reward hard work and attention toward quality. No shortcuts are allowed.

If some are starting to feel a little bit like Dorothy, it could not be more appropriate because just like her, all of us have had the power all along. The answer is no “magic pill” but rather a combination of hard work and common sense. Google respects and rewards those who create a meaningful experience for visitors to their site. What Google likes is found below:

Google Likes:

1. Well written articles which visitors take the time to read when visiting a site.

2. Multiple back-links from multiple sites.(the more reputable the site – the better.)

3. Long-form articles which are interesting and engaging rate better than 400 words of waste.

4. Site loading speed is important and pages should operate smoothly.

5. Most of all Google likes what site visitors like they reward the “popular kid on the block.”(more emails and social media mentions)
The Laws of Motion on Google:
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction according to the laws of Mr. Newton and the rules governing the ranking of sites on Google. Now that we have established what are consider good practices to live by we must examine the other side of that coin to avoid those things which may be punishable by lowering a sites ranking up to and including the “death penalty” for search identification.

What Google dislikes is found below:

Google Dislikes:

1. Google does not like tricks and blatant attempts to falsely manipulate rankings with poorly-written content and fake auto back-links. Any offenses are subject to be punished by sites being pushed to the bottom of rankings or even de-indexed(becoming unrecognized.)

2. Google does not like “bouncing” assuming that visitors who quickly exit sites are most likely leaving because they are not interested.

3. Google does not like short, poorly written content.

4. Google does not like keywords being jammed to try and grab results.

5. Google does not like slow-loading pages.