During a recent interview, former Google employee Andre Weyher dropped some hints that may indicate where some businesses are going wrong when it comes to their local SEO. Many webmasters struggle to figure out how to please Google, work keywords into their content and rank highly in search results, but sometimes they may fail to achieve the ranking they'd like because their SEO practices aren't quite as good as they could be.
Improving local search results
Weyher threw out some hints to those engaged in local search marketing during his interview. He specifically stated that those looking to increase their search results shouldn't be using the same old techniques they had in place before the Google Penguin update that impacted the relevance of some websites.
He also made several comments in regards to link-building - an important strategy in the SEO world. His comments appear to confirm that Google takes into account the anchor text leading visitors to a website and the quality of the pages linking to a site, meaning if a business is using strategic and honest linking strategies, they'll rank more highly than the competition.
Comments on SEO
When speaking in regards to searches, Weyher advised marketers to not over optimize pages and titles, as Google may push a site's rankings down if keywords appear too frequently throughout the text. Most engaged in SEO already know that keyword stuffing isn't a great practice, and they'll likely be penalized if they force commonly-searched terms into their content.
One of Weyher's statements that may ring true for many companies is his claim that "if you want to please Google with your SEO, then forget about SEO."
His comments draw upon a common understanding that to make SEO as effective as possible, the strategy shouldn't draw attention to itself. SEO experts have long advised that effective search optimization techniques should be invisible - drawing attention to keywords or using them unnaturally doesn't have much of a positive effect on readers when you're trying to engage them with fresh, interesting content.
Don't force optimization
You may be working hard to fill your webpages with great content that smoothly integrates multiple keywords, but if you can't figure out a way to make a keyword-rich sentence work, you certainly shouldn't force it. Rather than over-optimizing and drawing attention to an awkwardly placed keyword, make sure your sentences flow well - your search terms should not be noticeable to readers throughout the text. You can always work the keyword in elsewhere - forcing it into a phrase may just turn off readers and make your content appear spammy.