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SEO isn’t what it used to be

I thought it might be worth seeing what the state of ranking factors for search engines is, here in the second half of 2022. However, much of the writing around the subject refers back to this article, which is two years old (although updated this summer).

“The single most important Google ranking factor”, according to the article, “is the quality of your content.” But what does that mean?

What it means is good news for those of us who know what we’re talking about, which I suspect includes almost every reader here.

First of all, the content needs to be trustworthy. That means being on an established website, which has been associated for a long time with the keywords being considered. It means having some substance, quoting references but not linking to low-quality sites.

Second, it needs to be readable. Google knows what a good, well intentioned article looks like, even better than any human. Artificial language used to game search engines will be spotted a mile off.

Third, it should be fresh. It doesn’t need to be new, but evidence that the content has been updated will be welcome. Anything we can do to improve old articles on our websites will be time well spent.

Finally, the content has to match the intent of the search. There’s a lifetime of explanations about this online, and it’s well worth spending some time researching the topic. Here’s a start.