It is a never ending ball play search engine optimisation is an exercise to rank websites on SERPs on first page. Day by day as search engines and their algorithms evolve the going goes harder or often obfuscated.
Webmaster seek quickfire solution to rank their client website and get impressive traffic. The going is not easy anymore since the algorithms have become more cryptic so to say. In order to decipher them and be in tandem with guidelines set by the search engines is becoming a riddle and a task difficult.
In earlier times spamming was easy and one could get away with easily. Not all webmasters where spammers but activities were more effective especially with link building in mass. With the induction of Panda and Penguin a paradigm shift has taken place. It is no longer easy to spam the search engines with content farms and ineffective link building.
Though link building is still effective a word has been added to the whole process and that is authoritative. Making large scale authoritative links those with strict editorial scrutiny is good but it is no more the panacea for viral results. Nowadays even brand mentions, online reputation and community participation can make the site popular hence one should utilise social media effectively.
In recent times plethora of metrics have been put into calculation for indexing and ranking. On page factors, technical seo inputs and sound link architecture along with unique contents and snippets have come into prominence. Page speed is slowly gaining importance as mobile search volume increases along with voice search.
User Query & Intent
Most of the principle of search engine optimisation remain in place albeit diluted to a varying degree. It is now a sum total of all. But the buck does not stop here as websites are ranked primarily on basis of user query relevancy. Until unless there are gross anomalies or spamming websites with answer to user query will always surface on top. The rest of the metrics will come into picture to decide between competitors answering the query as desired.
The evolution of algorithms has been carried out keeping user satisfaction in mind. A product with high demand is placed in a prominent eye catching position in a department store. So is the website that seems most suitable to provide an answer to the query is placed high on the SERPs.
Determination of user intent has come out by implementing methods to measure click through and bounce rate. This is the way to analyse user preference time and over a clear picture is emerging as to what online visitors seek. User intent is now gauged effectively hence if you type "Amazon" out pops links to the eCommerce company and not to the river in South America. Visitors overwhelmingly are seeking this company all over the Globe.
Hence all factors being equal it is important to understand user intent before optimising a website. For example say you are optimising a website on a hotel. Whence a visitor types "hotels in Jabalpur" he will find well known portals offering details of various hotels in the town. The websites of individual hotels will be ranked well below. This is often misconstrued as brand preference favoured by the search engines. Well it is the user intent and search volume measured over the years that is in play.
Search engines will always match sites that seem to answer the user query effectively. Those which do not receive impressive click through and maintain a high bounce rate will be pushed back in spite of various metrics that are efficiently entrenched.
Hence while creating a website write contents that satisfy queries within the topic that are most often typed on the SERPs. Try to figure out how you will beat the contenders on page one. Make the site mobile friendly and offer good user experience and yes quality hosting with minimum outages will also help. Add preferred elements like videos, optimised graphics, photos and internal/outgoing links that could further the information. Add a company blog which is essential to keep the contents pouring in.
Add effective titles, meta and snippets to help search engines come to a correct conclusion what your site is all about. Keep building links as well but maintain quality else your site could be penalised.