Looking through the lens of SEO: harmful or helpful?
Everyone with a website is concerned about “feeding the Google Machine,” or making sure Google is happy with your site. However, viewing things strictly through the lens of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can give you a warped perspective of what is actually beneficial to your site.
While you’re trying to please Google, don’t forget that Google is trying to please actual humans — your potential customers — by returning the BEST results possible.
So what does Google really care about? They care about the same things a human visitor does: the ability to understand what your site is really about, relevant, up-to-date content, simple navigation, a mixture of media (text, images and — where appropriate — video and audio), fast load times, and that your site looks good on any size screen.
A lot of times though, business owners will take SEO recommendations to extremes. They hear that Google likes video so they commission a huge series of videos and drop 10 of them right on their homepage. They start using an SEO tool like Yoast and decide that nothing short of a perfect score on every page and post is enough.
Like all things, SEO is a balancing act. When your video-heavy homepage causes poor load times or if, in using a content score as your only editor, you compromise the readability for a human visitor — your focus on SEO can do more harm than good.
My best advice is to never do anything to benefit SEO that has a negative impact on your human visitors. Your customers (and likely Google) will ultimately thank you for it.