When it comes to ranking for content on the internet today, the game has clearly changed. Several years ago you could rank very well just by focusing on the technical aspects of SEO, such as building back links, optimizing keywords, and making proper use of title and header tags. Today these practices are still important, but they now make up only a very small piece of the ranking puzzle, as many new factors are now just as important as the old ones, if not more important. Here we going to look at some of the best ways to optimize your content for the web, as well as clear up some myths surrounding search engine optimization practices today.
Do Back Links Still Have Value:
For starters, I have no idea why, but for some reason many SEO and social media specialists either think that links created within the Google+ platform are either “nofollow”, or they state they aren’t sure if those links are followed or not. Actually, all links on Google+ are “dofollow”, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why. For one, all you have to do is view the links to your site under your webmaster tools account to know that all links on Google+ are counted for and followed. Microsoft’s Bing search engine also follows links from Google+, and they are counted for in Bing webmaster tools. Google doesn’t show links under your webmaster tools account that are “nofollowed!” But the question remains, do back links carry the same weight today as they once did a few years ago? The answer is yes, they do!
Back links can still carry real weight in terms of SEO today, just as they did years ago. Why? Because, they help to show search engines a level of trust and authority in your websites and their content. If you have thousands of back links coming in from trusted sites, and those links are naturally created by users, and they come from within quality content, then those links can carry some serious weight. Not all links are created or weighted equally, and as Google’s Matt Cutt’s has stated in the past, relevance matters! For instance, if someone creates a link from their article about SEO that points back to another article about SEO on your website, then these links were created between relevant content, and therefore are more heavily weighted than links from irrelevant content. In fact, creating links between content that is not relevant to each other will actually count against, and I will explain why.
If you are creating links from a site about exotic animals that points back to a site about social media, obviously the content from both of these domains are completely irrelevant to each other. When search engines see links like this they will either simply ignore them, or they will count them against you. Why? Because, the search engines reasoning for this is, why would you be creating links between content that has no relevance? Obviously any links created in this manner would be spam links and nothing more.
Links between content on your website can count in your favor almost as much as external links can. If you have 2 articles about SEO on your website, and both articles are relevant to each other, then it would only make sense to provide a link from one article to the other, and explain the relevance to users when doing so. Internal linking adds serious value to users since it can provide someone who is searching for content online with more information about that content than they would have found by viewing a one page article. The more in depth you can get about a specific subject on the web, the better! Search engines will likely reward you for this, and your sites visitors will appreciate it too.
Social Media Presence Can Make or Break You:
This is no joke! Social metrics are really important in terms of deciding the value of your content as far as search engines are concerned, and here’s why; You see, back in the days when search giants ranked content based purely on technical data, the search engines had not implemented too many ways to gauge the opinion of internet users themselves, so they naturally looked at bounce rates (how long are users spending on your website, or a given webpage), in order to try to determine the value of content. Today Google uses social metrics to determine the worth of your content by letting users themselves decide what content is worthy, and what is not. Google managed to do this with its implementation of the Google+ platform, the +1 button, and by taking more notice to user engagement with content on its networks (Are you getting a hundred comments on G+ for a single article?).
Just a few days before writing this article I made one post on G+ for a Pacman page on my website. As it turns out, that page was shared 99 times overnight on Google+ alone, and the next day I ranked page 1 on Google for the keywords “play original Pacman”, which I am now spot number one on page 2! The page features a short history of Pacman, a graphic, and the game itself, and the title and heading tags are well descriptive of the content. Google clearly took into account the fact that 100 people shared the post containing the link, so the content must be good, right? Also, they look at other engagement factors such as comments, +1’s (literally a vote for your content), etc, when evaluating the overall value of our content. So as you can see, social metrics really do matter, and they are more important than just back links alone. It’s likely after a little editing that my Pacman page will move back to page one and somewhere closer to the top of the page, outranking sites that have been on the web years longer than I have.
A high social media presence can help to add authority to both content on the web and to authors of content themselves. Google has found ways to gauge the value of an authors work through the use of Google Authorship. Authorship provides a way for both search engines and internet users alike to identify with the authors of various content on the web. That being said, it’s likely that authors themselves will have the ability to rank just the same way as actual content does.
You see, if you build a presence on social media, and people on social networks happen to like you, and or your content, they will not only create links to your content, they will do all the marketing of that content for you. I had one page I posted to G+ a few days ago that was shared over 450 times overnight, which was the main games page for my website, which you can find Here!. All being said, social media not only helps you to build a presence on the internet, it also serves as a way to drive traffic to your content on the web. If people like your content, they will do all the work for you! No need for paid marketing. It’s likely that making affective use of social media in driving the success of your content ranks as the number two ranking factor among all others, only standing behind the most important factor, the content itself!
Quality Content is The Number One Ranking Factor Today:
Hands down, over any other factors you could possibly think of, the quality of your content is now the most important ranking factor there is! What is quality content? Well, anyone can produce content on the web and claim it to be of a quality nature, but that doesn’t mean that others view your content the same way. In fact, they may think it flat out sucks! To put it lightly, if you are building a presence on social media and sharing your content with others, but no one is taking any notice to that content, then it sucks, plain and simple! Let user's decide what content is quality and what is not. After all, we don’t write articles and create content for us to read, we create content for others, and this is where your efforts should be focused, on the users of your content themselves. All being said, it’s probably best to focus on your content, or product first, then focus on marketing later. No quality product, no return on investment, no exceptions.
The three main subjects we covered in this article, the proper implementation of back links, an effective social media presence, and the quality of content will determine how you rank on the web today, guaranteed. Again, search engines like Bing and Google are now letting people determine the value of your content, not keywords. You could have the most optimized webpage’s, keywords, etc, but it all means crap! Quality content doesn’t need heavy marketing, others will do this for you. Keep your eyes on social media, and produce content that people either want, like, or need for some reason, and you will rank very high in search results. Thanks for reading!
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