Thursday, January 23, 2014

How Algorithm Updates influence SEO

It isn’t difficult to look back at current algorithm updates from Google and evaluate how each one has altered the role of an SEO. In the simplest sense, Panda forced us to become better writers and researchers. Penguin made us alter the way we build links. Most recently, although it was less of an algorithm update and more of an communications change to Google’s core algorithm, Hummingbird asked us to consider conversational search queries in the content we produce.

Regardless of how small an algorithm update may be, the development and growth of an SEO’s tasks can be traced back through the history of updates. The fact that SEO is so dependent on updates creates quite a bit of uncertainty in the industry. But hey, as SEOs we know that the only thing that stays the same is that everything changes!

The only confidence is that things will be dissimilar tomorrow.
Saying an SEOs role has changed in the last five to 10 years is an understatement. SEOs are tasked with more each year and the definition of SEO has broadened significantly. It’s become nearly impossible to be a one-man (or woman) show. It requires a team with a number of different skills to perform quality SEO today.

How SEO has Changed

There used to be a time when SEO was strictly about getting traffic to a website. It didn’t matter how it was done as long as it was accomplished.

That was a long time ago.
Today the role of an SEO is much more than attracting visitors. It’s about conversions. It’s about building a brand, having a social media presence, and producing unique, high quality content better than anyone else in your industry.

Why is this happening? It’s simple – Google wants it. Aside from making money, Google wants it’s users to find the best search results possible. How do you weed out the good sites from the bad sites? Make it tough for the bad sites to compete. Google is accomplishing this through their algorithm updates.

This is well beyond the scope of early SEO that built-in keyword research, generic, keyword-stuffed content production, site convenience, and link building.

Staying practical beside Algorithms

The difference between great SEOs and ordinary SEOs is that the great ones have a sense of what the upcoming holds. They’re able to look into their crystal ball and plan for potential algorithms that may lie in front. What’s their secret? It’s experience. There is a good possibility that at one time or another they were penalized for their SEO practices and have a full understanding of the power of Google.

Here are a few things you can do to stay proactive:

•    Don’t have a one-dimensional backlink profile. An example would be a site that has mainly built links through guest posting. While guest posting is a great way to link build, your backlink profile is supposed to look normal. Having a site with backlinks primarily coming from one source is an obvious sign to Google that you’re trying to influence rankings. Instead make an effort to switch up your link building strategy. For every guest post you write, try to get a couple of directory links and a few blog comments as well. Some consider directory links and blog commenting outdated link building tactics but they’re still helpful as long as they’re relevant links on quality sites. select carefully where you build these links and if you’re going to leave a comment make sure you are contributing to the discussion.

•    It’s always a good time to clean up your backlink profile. If you actually want to be proactive with link building, don’t wait for the next update to get rid of bad links. We all have a few links we’re not proud of and it’s best to remove them now before it’s too late. Do you best to have these links removed by contacting webmasters and if that doesn’t work then use Google’s disavow tool. Still Google stresses to use this tool after all other attempts have failed.

•    Diversify your attach texts. This shouldn’t be breaking news to anyone but if you haven’t already made an attempt to vary your anchor texts when link building then there is no better time to start than today. This goes back to building a natural backlink profile. A site that has the best part of its links coming from one or two anchor texts is another sign to Google that your links are unnatural.

•    Be significant in everything you do. The importance of relevancy for Google isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Whether you’re producing content or building links, staying applicable to your niche is vital to maintaining ranks and satisfying Google.

 you might also like: SEO For 2014

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