Published on November 14th, 2012 | by Amy Edwards0
Want To Win At SEO? Forget All About Google!
By Amy @BubbleJobs
Whatever your position in the digital sector, there’s no denying that 2012 has been a defining year for SEO. Thanks to key black and white animal-themed updates and the EMD update (to name but a few), old-school SEO as we knew and loved it is now a thing of the past.
The outcome of all these changes and updates? Quick wins for minimal effort are no-longer a key factor of SEO. These days the focus is on creating quality content that people actually want to link to and read – in essence, Google has made it harder than ever to “cheat the system”.
OK, so if SEO is now tougher than ever how do you go about it? Well, for a start you need to try and forget about Google. Yep, you did read that right – I said you need to try and put Google to one side. Now, that probably goes against everything you’ve ever been taught when it comes to SEO but these days it’s easy to get obsessed with Google and forget about your customers and what you were trying to achieve with the site in the long run.
With Google placing a new focus on over-optimisation (I have a feeling the Penguin update could be just the tip of the iceberg!), packing title tags and metadescriptions with key words may no longer be a viable option. OK, so you still need to rank well for things but think about what the page is actually about and then find keywords that fit with that rather than doing it the other way around. Think about it; it’s all well and good ranking well for a keyword but if your page isn’t actually on that topic, your bounce rate will spike and you’ll nosedive through the rankings pretty quickly.
Spending time making your title tags look natural may seem like a waste of time now but there’s a strong chance it’ll be worth it in the long run when Google finally gets around to tackling over-optimised page elements – do you really want to have to embark on a full-on rescue mission (again!)?
Similarly when it comes to creating content for your website, rather than cramming every paragraph with more keywords than you can shake a stick at, think about what your customers would actually want to read/find useful and go from there. Remember, Google has always said creating useful, high quality content is the name of the game and with last year’s Panda update and semantic search, that’s now more important than ever.
When it comes to link building in 2012/2013, the focus is now very much on quality over quantity. Rather than just going around collecting any random links you can get your hands on, try to focus on acquiring quality links in the form of authentic recommendations and genuine ‘votes of confidence’ – remember, it’s all about making your link profile look as natural as possible!
Last but not least when it comes to SEO these days, there’s no harm in combining your online marketing strategy with an effective offline marketing plan. OK, so it’s important to rank on Google but Google rankings aren’t the “be all and end all” when it comes to running a successful website. Make the most of other offline marketing opportunities and remember to always provide a link to your website – you never know, someone might see your site in the local newspaper or on TV and want to link to it from their site!
So there you go; the key to good SEO in 2012/2013 could be to put Google to one side and focus on creating a quality site that ‘does what it says on the tin’ and provides your customers with quality content that they actually want to link to. Just to clarify, I’m not saying forget Google completely (that would be madness!), but try not to make it the overriding presence when it comes to developing your eCommerce site.