SEO for Humans is Not About Google and “Content is King”
Spider, really your preferred audience? *
For years Google has been preaching building websites for humans not spiders. Nonetheless in reality Google still relies on webmasters to make their pages spider-friendly.
To be honest I don’t like big Google and I don’t like spiders.
I like humans very much though. That’s why I will explain the SEO 2.0 way of SEO for humans not spiders in seven lessons:
Lesson one: Forget Google
Optimize as if no Google exists. Google optimization really cripples most websites. People have such a focused “fulfil Google’s wishes” mindset that they tend to overlook the people.
Optimizers tend to ignore those who actually use Google or the website they land on.
After opening your mind in this way you’ll quickly notice that in many cases you don’t need Google for “traffic” aka visitors. My SEO 2.0 blog is proof of this concept in that I banned Google search altogether.
Lesson two: Look around
Identify the best traffic sources beyond Google for your niche. For blogs like mine (not only SEO blogs) the best traffic sources are often social networking sites, niche social sites and other blogs.
I got the largest portion of my visitors from social media for years, even before blocking Google.
I get lots of very relevant visitors from niche social sites like Inbound.org and I get highly targeted visitors from my fellow bloggers. My colleagues alias other bloggers send me highly focused visitors who don’t bounce off my blog but often view several pages.
Lesson three: Make people happy
In SEO 1.0 and SMO (Social Media Optimization) everybody was publishing linkbait and later clickbait. In SEO 2.0 we rarely speak of bait as we do not treat people like fish but respect them as human being.
Build a community, a network of friends who recognize you all over the Internet and who support you by shares without asking for shares and trading votes.
In SEO 2.0 we’re not out there for the quick win, we’re in it for the long term bounty.
We make people happy by giving them what they want or what they even don’t know they want yet. We provide solutions for problems they haven’t even recognized as such or thought of as solvable.
Unlike advertising we don’t brainwash them into liking it we guess what they might like. That’s why SEO 2.0 is always a step ahead and is never spammy by definition.
Lesson four: Go for marriage not the one night stand
SEO is like going a one night stand. You get someone to visit your site via a search engine and you want more of these one night stand visitors. SEO 2.0 is like marriage.
You are after faithful returning visitors and in the best case subscribers who stay with you for years.
These people trust you. They will buy and support you again and again. For instance I got one favorite online store where I buy my electronics regularly and another one for my books. I only use search to find out about the products and then I usually go back to my favorite places.
Lesson five: Practice basic SEO at the end
Can I dump SEO 1.0 altogether? No, you can’t. I try, but a commercial site can’t. You still need search traffic, especially from Google although there are myriads of other sources by now. Add the SEO 1.0 of tweaking
- meta descriptions
at the end when you’re blogging. Come up with a gripping headline first!
Think about what valuable content you offer and then add some keywords when you’re done. Spiders may like “German SEO Blog for Small Business Berlin” but humans love “SEO 2.0″.
Lesson six: Content is NOT king
The ages old mantra of “content is king” is not true when it comes to SEO 2.0! It gets spread by corporate media moguls and subconscious monarchists .
In fact the term content already implies low quality and a top-down approach. Ask journalists whether they write content or whether they report news.
Ask novelists whether they create content or whether they write stories.
Ask artists and photographers whether they create content or not. In SEO 2.0 link is president. A president chosen by the people for the people.
Content that nobody understands besides a few experts is not president. Such content is just a local bureaucrat from Alaska. Content without links remains largely invisible to the public.
Lesson seven: People over spiders
Ever since social media went mainstream the people decide who’s hot and who’s not. Before only a few sites decided who to link. Now everybody has the power to link what s/he likes. Be it on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest
people decide what’s popular, not spiders.
Socialize and do not only “target” people. Listen and learn to make people happy. Become part of
In the best case not only virtual ones. Build relationships with real people online and in person.
SEO 2.0 is not just another hyped acronym for SEO or SMO. SEO 2.0 is a paradigm shift. It might be Digital Asset Optimization like Lee Odden coined it but it’s certainly not only about “content is king” and SEO for humans not spiders. That’s solely white hat SEO 1.0!
Last updated: July 19th, 2015.
* Creative Commons image by Holley And Chris Melton