You might have conceptualized the idea for a website with meticulous design and development along with good content. However, I fear that it would not necessarily derive you the expected result in website visibility sans search engine optimization (SEO). But why is SEO important?
Well, SEO or search engine optimization as most of you know is the process of generating traffic from the free, organic, natural listings on search engines. Some of the most popular search engines are Google, Yahoo and Bing where web pages besides other content such as videos or local listings are made visible and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users.
In short, SEO is an internet marketing strategy that studies how search engines work, what visitors search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience.
The Basics Of Link Building
Link building is not only one of the most challenging part of SEO, but also most critical to its success. Although, it is true that links aren’t everything in SEO; search professionals attribute a large portion of the engines’ algorithms to link-based factors. The essence of link building is that search engines can not only analyse the popularity of a website & page based on the number of pages linking to them, but also metrics like trust, spam, and authority.
While the basics of link building is based on creativity and a budget; there is a common trend where trustworthy sites tend to link to other trusted sites, while spammy sites seldom receive links from trusted sources. However, at the end the fact remains that every link building campaigns are unique and the technique you choose to build links depends upon your website as well as your personality.
SEO And Link Building – Before April 2012
The world of SEO and link building has undergone a major upheaval in the last couple of years and especially since the advent of Google Algorithm – original Penguin update in April 2012.
But before April 2012, link building was all about SEO managers flinging budget of whatever was believed to be functioning and stacking one flimsy strategy over another. There were even times when everyone seemed to be a linking expert – repackaging and reselling the same kind of junk every time.
Search engine professionals actively relied on black hat SEO techniques to achieve top ranking quickly on search engines like bulk link building, same anchor text link building, forum profiles, social bookmarking and plagiarism in Article Submission where the same content is posted in number of article sites.
After April 2012 – No Guarantee With Too Many Google Algorithm Updates
Come April 2012, Penguin has cracked down on all fake links, blog posts, authors, blogs, etc. that were randomly created in an effort to trick the search engine. In a major cleanup that impacted many websites, the Penguin updates followed up in March and October (2012) made it clear that the prevailing trend to build links in an effort to build traffic for clients and get their site featured was in fact, more about link building to enhance the clients’ authority, trust and relevance while ensuring visibility for your website before the right target audience.
Although it is true that cleaning up links and shifting the course of an industry that was so deep-rooted (2004 to 2011) was tough, but we see that the world of link building has rebounded back to what it was in 1998, and the factors that are of most importance and needs to be kept in mind when performing link building are relevance, audience and engagement, authority and trust and onsite optimization.
No Short-Cut And/Or Sure-Shot Formula To Achieve Search Engine Top Ranking
Extensive analysis on various aspects of search engine rankings has revealed that there are several factors that impact results and with the current emphasis on the Penguin update, we will be stressing on:
- Site Speed & Performance Even though Google has stated that the ranking factor of site speed is very small, just 1 percent; however, it will definitely have an effect on ranking in the long run. Also, users love to use fast and responsive sites thus assuring better conversion and business.
- WordPress New websites are increasingly now being built using the popular CMS – WordPress. Coming to SEO, you can find a comprehensive walkthrough of how to set up the SEO for WordPress plugin, improve your WordPress speed and performance, besides creating a custom author page and more.
- Advanced Data Research and Keyword Research Advanced data research is a challenging job that makes SEO unique and makes you feel like Sherlock Holmes of the web. Besides being good at accumulating data from different places and getting that data no matter what it takes sometimes; you must have also been using the adwords keyword tool a lot. What other keyword research tools and techniques have you been using of late?
- Link Building with Content It has become harder to build links the old way (commenting, directories, email blasts, or black hat techniques like blog networks and spinning) since the advent of Penguin and Panda. You now have to really work on creating content that is link worthy, and work as an information resource that will keep your visitors coming back for more.
So, What’s Next?
Post the rollout of Penguin in April 2012, the SEO community has pulled up its socks together to ensure that their websites are not affected by the Google algorithm update. And now as the buzz around the latest Penguin 2.0 update intensifies, there are serious considerations on revamping the Secure Link Building Strategy, Social Media Marketing Strategy and the Content Marketing Strategy by search engine optimizers so as to ensure top rankings for their respective sites within a certain time-period.
Below is Matt Cutt’s latest video about the Penguin 2.0 and other future plans released in May this year:
[Image - Julian Povey, Flickr, Creative Commons Licence]