August 4, 2023

Google's Unchanged SEO Advice: A Look Back at Two Decades

Google's Unchanged SEO Advice: A Look Back at Two Decades

Google's Unchanged SEO Advice: A Look Back at Two Decades

It's not every day you come across advice that hasn't changed in two decades, especially in a space that seems like it is always rapidly evolving like search engine optimization (SEO). However, recently Google Search Liaison sent a tweet (see below) that we had to highlight. In it, they state how they have maintained the same core piece of advice since 2002, underscoring its timeless relevance.

From 2002 to 2023: Google's Consistent SEO Guidance

This mantra is as true today as it was when first stated back in 2002. This doesn’t mean that absolutely nothing has changed. We know the landscape has experienced massive shifts over these two decades:

  • Introduction and growth of mobile optimization
  • Evolution of link-building strategies
  • Updates in the ways SERPs are displayed

However, throughout all these changes, Google's central philosophy about user-centricity has remained steadfast. After all, at the end of the day, it's the users who are typing in the search queries, looking for reliable answers, and driving the need for SEO in the first place.

Content: The Heart of SEO

Content creation is at the heart of SEO because people are the heart of SEO. A powerful content strategy that speaks to your customer and provides the answers and clarity they need to take action can elevate your SEO results and position your brand as a trusted source in your industry. Here are some things to consider if you want to make your content valuable for people:

Content Quality: 

If you are regurgitating what others have already said it will be hard to earn traffic unless you have a lot of other factors working for you. Make sure each piece of content has original information in it even if it’s a simple quote or graphic.

Value to Users: 

Good content should provide value to the users and bring them to the next step. Make sure you not only answer the search, but you bring them to your product page or email subscription box with a clear value proposition as to why they should purchase or join your list.

Keyword Optimization: 

Optimize your keywords does not mean stuffing your keyword in ever spot you can find. It actually means the opposite. Optimize your keywords like you optimize your speech. If someone asks you a simple question are you going to ramble for 750 words?

Internal and External Linking: 

Properly linking to relevant information, both within your site and to external sources, can increase the validity and visibility of your content and make the page more useful to the reader. If you mention a statistic or fact, linking to the source will give the reader and Google more confidence you know what you are talking about.

Where Does that Leave Technical SEO and Backlinking?

Technical SEO: The Backbone of Success?

Understanding the Role of Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the foundation that allows other SEO strategies to function effectively. That being said, most web platforms take care of the bulk of this for you until you start getting 6 digit annual traffic. Even though it may not be as visible as content or backlinks, and it is becoming easier and easier to manage, its importance cannot be overstated. If your site can’t get crawled you will never rank. Below are a few technical aspects that should always be on your radar:

  • Site Accessibility: 

Ensuring search engines can crawl and index your site effectively is the primary goal of technical SEO. This involves creating a robots.txt file, generating an XML sitemap, and ensuring there are no crawl errors.

  • Site Structure and Mobile-Friendliness: 

A well-structured website and a strong mobile interface improve user experience, contributing to better SEO results.

  • Page Speed and Security: 

Fast loading times and a secure browsing environment (HTTPS) are key technical SEO factors that not only affect your ranking but also the trust users place in your site.

In our last blog, we went in depth on which technical SEO issues are actual issues and which are best left to worry about after you create content. You can read more about that here: Did You Just Get Ripped Off? A History of the SEO Audit.

Linking: The Lifeline of SEO

Linking is an essential lifeline of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It refers to the process of linking web pages to each other within a single website (internal linking) or linking from other websites (external linking or backlinking).

Effective linking practices can enhance the visibility of your website, improve page authority, and boost your SEO ranking. Linking will always remain relevant but it will always come after the content as you cannot build a natural link if there is no content to link to. That being said, 1 powerful link can push an average piece of content to the top.

The Importance of High-Quality Backlinks for SEO Success

High-quality backlinks are crucial to your website's SEO success. These are incoming links from external websites to your content. The number and quality of backlinks your website receives can significantly influence its search engine rankings.

How We Build Backlinks for Our Clients

At Mad Mango Marketing, our backlink-building process is meticulous and proven, ensuring each link adds value to your SEO efforts.

  • Step 1: 

Content - Great content is the starting point for our backlink building process. We work closely with our content team to create engaging, valuable content that other websites will want to link to.

  • Step 2: 

Outreach - We then reach out manually to relevant websites within your niche. Using Ahrefs metrics and Moz Spam Score, we ensure that we're only connecting with quality sites that can positively impact your website.

  • Step 3: 

Placement - After securing agreement from the prospect site, we negotiate to place your link on the best-performing page on their website. This maximizes the impact of the link for your business.

  • Step 4: 

Maintaining the Relationship - After the link is built, we make sure to maintain the relationship with the prospect for future linking opportunities. We've found this approach leads to more than just links—it can lead to customers, suppliers, and even lifelong friendships.


In dissecting this tweet, we've returned to the fundamentals of SEO that have held true for over two decades. 

Mad Mango Marketing exemplifies how these enduring principles are put into practice today, much like they were 20 years ago. The strategies we've discussed are not just artifacts of an earlier internet age, but the backbone of today's most effective SEO campaigns. Even as search engine algorithms become more complex, these fundamentals remain unchanged. The key to online success, it seems, lies not in chasing after the newest trends, but in mastering these timeless strategies and adapting them to a changing digital landscape. The rules haven't changed - they've merely evolved, and so should our understanding and implementation of them.


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