4 Eternal Truths about SEO

In an industry where change is the only reliable constant, it’s nice to know there are a few things we can rely on…

1. The Human Audience Will Always Be The Most Important

This seems like a no brainer, but anyone with experience in search engine optimization (SEO) knows that sometimes it’s easy to forget this major detail once you’ve launched yourself head first into a campaign.  But don’t forget. Don’t lose focus. Always remember that your targeted audience is composed of actual humans, not the search engines you’re trying to rank highly in—and this will NEVER change.

The Good News: More than likely the work you’re doing to rank high in the search engines will also be beneficial marketing for your audience.

2. Links Will Always Play a Part in the Rankings

Computers are awesome, but let’s be honest—how is a computer supposed to determine what website is the most authoritative on a specific topic?  The answer is links.  If websites were people, inbound links would be like votes for Homecoming King and Queen. Search engines see these links and determine the most “popular” websites for the SERPs. While this aspect of SEO is definitely evolving at a rapid pace, it’s around to stay for a long time.

The Good News: Search engines are becoming better at determining whether a link is spam or not. So for those who work hard to create quality links, it’s a win-win situation.

3. You Can’t Optimize Website Content, If the Text Doesn’t Exist.

Even though the web is constantly evolving, text is still a part of every search—even when the search is for a picture or video.  It seems like a given, then, that quality content will always be an important factor in determining rankings.  Don’t try to ignore it.  If you want your site to perform well, do your homework and create quality content, because I can guarantee the search engines are reading it.

The Good News: Why on earth would you want to have bad content on your website? That just seems silly, since your target audience will be reading it, too. This is one of those instances where what you’re doing to rank well in the search engines will also be beneficial to your audience.

4. You will never REALLY know exactly how Google works.

Surprise, surprise! Do you really expect this to ever change? Google averages one algorithm change a day, making the world of SEO that much more fascinating. And just for fun, Google will come out with exciting, new updates to change the game up a little. Panda. Penguin. You know what I’m talking about.

The Good News: You don’t want to know Google’s exact algorithm, because I can guarantee that if you do, so do all of your competitors. If everyone knew exactly what to do to rank #1, websites would become so manipulated that search engines would quickly become useless to the users.


So there you have it.  There are a few things we can count on to always be true, even in an industry that thrives on constant change. What are your thoughts on these “eternal” truths—agree or disagree? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

  • katieo

    I think really compelling content can be considered “optimized” even if there is no text. A really well designed page that only features a video, for instance, can still attract a ton of users, links and shares. You might get more value out of that strategy than you would having a video _and_ a wall of text. It depends what your goal is from the SEO campaign 😀

    Nice post!

  • Quincy

    You’re right, Katie, compelling content within a well designed page can attract traffic, links and shares. Search engines are limited, however, in how they crawl websites. The way they see a webpage is different than how you or I would see it. Images, Flash files, Java applets, and other non-text content are often ignored or devalued by search engines, so the easiest way to ensure your website content is visible to search engines (and ultimately that your webpage appears in organic searches) is to place it in the HTML text on each page.

    Thanks for your comment, Katie!

  • Not knowing Google or other search engines is the most frustrating thing for me, because it seems once you get one thing figured out, it changes…Life of SEO I suppose.

  • Quincy

    Ahhhh the joys of SEO, Jonathan! Do you agree, though, that on the flip side it would not be beneficial to be able to know Google’s exact algorithm?


  • Quincy

    Thanks, Henry!