Over time, as Google develops their wonderful search engine, we’re seeing that recent algorithm updates tend to strongly prefer high quality, useful, hand-made content. That means that there are penalties to be handed out to shady agencies that spin non-human-readable content for the sake of blasting up a bunch of keywords, and even more penalties for sites that are buying links from marketplaces like Fiverr. (Remember: if it sounds like too good to be true, it definitely is too good to be true – especially when you’re being offered hundreds of links for $5.)
Being one of the top E-Commerce SEO agencies around – we put a great deal of emphasis on our standards, and one of the things you will see us talk about more than almost anything else is Organic SEO. Now, you might have found yourself thinking about what “Organic” SEO entails, and how does it stack up vs. “Plain old” SEO, is this just fancy nomenclature or are there real, tangible, quantifiable differences? Well, being the amazing people that we are – we’ve decided to put together a short read to tell you all about Organic SEO, how you can identify it and why it’s something that you should definitely care about as an E-Commerce Store Owner.
So first thing’s first – what exactly is Organic SEO? Thankfully – this is one of the simpler concepts we’ll touch on. Organic Search Engine Optimization is simply a set of guidelines and strict regulations that tell us marketers what we should and should not do. Why is it beneficial to a site owner or admin? Well, the consequences of not following these guidelines are swift and harsh – inversely, following these regulations puts you in “Santa’s List” in Google’s eyes. This means, if you follow these guidelines to the tee – your site will naturally rank well for relevant search results and you will see a great steady increase in site visitors over time.
What are these magical standards you ask? For the most part – we tend to divide these standards into two categories: 1. How you build your e-commerce store website and 2. How you promote your store’s website. Now, this probably seems like very obvious stuff doesn’t it? And you’re right on the money, for the most part these are very simple concepts to understand, so let’s take a glance at the details:
Organic SEO Implies that you build your site WITHOUT:
When we stuff Turkey for thanksgiving we always make sure that we fill it with just the right amount of stuffing. Similar logic applies to optimizing your store’s website for the search terms you want your customers to see you rank for. In this case – too much stuffing (of keywords) can actually harm the page you’re trying to rank as Google is swift to hand out penalties to pages trying to trick the search engine into thinking it’s more relevant than it may be.
Google hates it, and when I say hates – I really mean is launched into a penalty dispensing frenzy. Why? Let’s think about this logically, cloaking implies that the page’s owner is purposely showing a different version of the page to Search Engines than it is to regular non crawl-bot visitors. If that doesn’t scream suspicious behavior – then…well I don’t know what would.
Unlike page cloaking, this one is far more common among site owners, especially within E-Commerce. Essentially, thin content is page content that is super shallow and doesn’t really provide any value or information to a potential reader. Generally, a lot of “agencies” (quotes indicate sarcasm here) purposefully write this sort of content, so that site owners using different apps (for example, SEO checker apps on Shopify) see that their “indicators” come back green. This kind of content is purely aimed at tricking these apps and other audit tools, but accomplishes nothing in terms of ranking your site.
Likewise, Optimizing your E-Commerce Site for Organic Traffic means promoting WITHOUT:
Have you ever been surfing the web when you stumbled on a blog post and in the comments section – lo and behold “Louis Vuitton X” or “Buy Y online”? These sorts of links are the prime and most obvious example of what Google and Bing would generally call a “spammy link”. Of course, not all of them are this obvious – in essence, blog comments, YouTube video comments and links from forum profiles will generally fall in to that category. This is not to say that all of these types of links are bad, of course a link from a Stanford.edu blog will definitely net you some great succulent link juice. The bottom line? Do not ever buy links en masse, under any circumstance. Google’s harshest penalties are saved for sites with a large number of spam links. What do you do if you get caught on one of these mistakes? Don’t worry and take a look at *how we managed to save one of our clients’ stores from a spam link penalty* and increase their sales!
In 2017, this is an alarming trend for us marketers as we see more and more clients that come seeking help for a penalty. The reason? They paid to have blog X or site Y link back to their E-Commerce Store and now need desperate SEO help to reverse the penalty that they were handed. While Google isn’t Skynet (probably). You should never under-estimate how much it knows about what you’re doing online, and in the business of giving users the most accurate information for their queries, Google tries their absolute best to make sure that no fraudulent or mis-leading information is presented right at the top of the search results. Thus the tight and strict enforcement and control. Que the Google is Skynet conspiracies!
So to put the cherry on this martini – as you’ve seen, Organic SEO makes a world of difference is really is the only way to grow your organic audience without constantly walking the fine line between gaining a little visibility and having you website seriously (if not irreversibly) penalized by Google. Remember, SEO is a long-term investment, and while it may take a bit to get the gears spinning – once they are, they’re unstoppable.