Relying on Google is a risky game. It always has been, but ever-increasingly over the last two years it’s becoming clear that relying heavily on Google traffic can hold an uncertain future.
I’ve seen a huge amount of brands who are performing extremely well via organic search, some are great at PPC, others social media.
Within their own specific channels they’re killing it, or perhaps more importantly making an absolute killing! But it’s getting more difficult and with more competition, comes bigger budgets and tighter margins.
“We’ll stop building links when they stop adding value”. This seems to be the motto around at the moment and it’s probably due to the high value that gaining links still offers to sites.
Within the industry we are always striving to keep one step ahead of the curve, to ensure that our client’s rankings continue to progress whilst keeping ourselves afloat within the search engine results pages (SERP’s), and link building is still a very powerful tool.
I believe that this is changing and that Google will devalue the power of links over the next few years, defending against the manipulative optimisation trends and habitual forms of online marketing taking place.
Bearing this in mind, I believe that now is the best time to start adapting your search engine optimisation (SEO) for this change if not already.
In February 2011 the first Panda Google algorithm update affected search results and changed the way SEO professionals and webmasters needed to think about optimizing websites.
The goal of Google Panda was to lower the rank of 'low-quality' websites that had thin content and increase rankings of higher quality and more authoritative websites. It was the beginning of the end of 'SEO content'.
Since then, and after more than a dozen updates to the Google Panda algorithm, websites have exponentially had to improve the quality of their content. There are various ways people speculate Google deems a website quality including the depth of the content, engagement metrics on pages, social sharing and the quality of websites linking.
You already know things are changing in SEO, old tactics that worked perfectly in the past before don't work now and more of the same old blah blah blah...
Yes, we all know all that. But now what?! How do I rank my keywords? How will I make the website better? How will I get the traffic and bring leads to my website?
If you want to rank your website on 'one word' and 'two word' (highly competitive) keywords, ask yourself a simple question, "Does your website deserve to hold the top rankings?"
If you said yes, then double check all the points highlighted below and you could be missing out on something. If you said no, well don't just sit there, read the checklist! Apply the recommendations I have laid out below...
(P.S. A handy PDF checklist of the points below and our SEO Best Practice Guide are available to download for Econsultancy subscribers!)
It can sometimes get a bit murky in the digital marketing world, with slander, extortion and Google penalties all potential weapons for practitioners of negative SEO.
This article aims to look at the current state of negative SEO, its place in the industry, how search engines are reacting/might react and significantly, ways to proactively detect negative SEO.
The cool thing about search is the way it just keeps changing and growing, meaning website owners and marketers are constantly needing to adapt and exploit new opportunities to maximise their search presence.
Here are five noteworthy directions in which search is evolving that I think digital marketers need to be aware of.
Consumer electronics shoppers usually spend a lot of time researching products before they eventually make a decision, which typically involves looking at upwards of 14 sources of information.
This includes searching for advice from consumer publications such as Which, comparison sites and customer reviews.
Organic and paid search is therefore an extremely important tactic for gaining brand exposure during the purchase journey.
There is a mix of competition within this sector as manufacturers, specialist suppliers, ecommerce brands and multichannel retailers attempt to improve market share.
A new report examining which brands achieve the highest visibility for consumer electronics has found that Amazon.co.uk comes top for both organic and paid search, which probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
Our SEO Best Practice Guide is always one of the most popular reports on Econsultancy, and last month we posted a significant update to the guide.
To keep our guides the best they can be, we go to those working at the coalface of search marketing to get their contributions so they are relevant and up-to-date.
Following on from our blog posts on mobile SEO and on-page optimisation, I caught up with one of our contributors Nichola Stott from theMediaFlow to ask her about link building today. Her thoughts are below…
There has been a lot of talk lately about responsive web design, and a number of questions have arisen about how Google perceives sites that go down this route.
Matt Cutts said responsive design “won’t harm rankings”. Given that Matt isn’t in the habit of telling everyone how to win at SEO, I think this is as close to an endorsement as we’re going to get.
‘Responsive’ is pretty much used as a byword for ‘mobile optimisation’, which is the science of crafting a better user experience for smartphone users. The key part of that sentence isn’t ‘responsive’, nor ‘mobile’, but ‘user experience’.
This is becoming a bigger deal, as far as SEO is concerned, and I suspect that we have only just begun to scratch the surface of what's going on.
Blogging ain’t easy, especially when you’re starting from scratch, but there are many tools available that can make your life easier and potentially help drive more traffic to your site than you expected.
First I’ll make one thing abundantly clear, and this is a caveat you’ll read on any respectable website regarding SEO, if there’s one overarching factor that you should always consider when producing content, it’s quality.
Always ask yourself “is the content I’m uploading to the web useful, entertaining, informative, engaging or innovative?” If it isn’t at least one of those things then you’re never going to achieve any gains in traffic, audience growth or authority.
There are of course exceptions to the rule and it’s difficult sometimes to remain objective when it comes to certain seemingly low-quality websites. But then if these websites are successful, they’re obviously catering for a certain demand.
Of course if you’re also someone who spends all day creating animated unicorn GIFs then I take my hat off to you. As I said, there are always exceptions to the rule and objectivity is hard.
Anyway, no matter what you’re publishing there are some brilliant and relatively simple ways that Google can help your content be seen, be indexed quickly and keep you out of trouble.