So do shares and likes (social signals) as well as low bounce rates influence SEO? Does a one legged duck swim in circles?Mail this post
“Is article marketing still a good link and traffic acquisition technique?”
*This is an excerpt from two of the top authorities in Search Engine Optimization, Leslie Rohde and Dan Thies.
So Dan and Leslie basically break it down into the following regarding article marketing’s effectiveness for 2013 onward: The simple answer is “no”, but let’s explain and defend that, okay?
There are a couple different things we want to get from links. Everybody talks about ranking, and links certainly help (a lot!) with that, but when done right, links also provide targeted traffic.
Maybe an article directory could provide some traffic, but how well targeted would it be? Not very. And, Google has never liked article directories and has recently gotten very good at not only discounting the links, but reducing the ranking of these directories as well.
The links that Google really wants are the “natural” links created by people because they value and share your content. That is very specifically NOT what article directories are about. Instead, what they provide is a place for webmasters to pick up and republish content to “fatten up” their own sites.
This unavoidably creates duplicate content and builds links from sites that have zero to minimal interest in your site – or maybe even your topic!
So if the links aren’t counted by Google and the traffic is (at best) of questionable value, is “article marketing” really even marketing at all?
Well, never say never, but we stopped teaching it years ago and have no plans to start teaching it again. There are far far better ways to use
your content that we’ll discuss in future posts.
Until then …
Keep creating quality content your readers love and engage with, not for the search engines!Mail this post
So with the latest round of “slaps” that Google has dished out – whether Penguins or Pandas or EMD updates or whatever you want to call them, the fact that peoples’ sites have been delisted or lost rankings comes down to one thing and one thing only – questionable SEO practices.
Folks, this stuff isn’t rocket science and there are countless “SEO Experts” out there employing all manner of CRAZY techniques / strategies to try and help their clients rank their pages. Long story short, there is no magic button nor magical tool to achieve this. It comes down to whether your site/page is relevant to the topic and whether your site or page engages the visitor in any way shape or form so that they don’t bounce immediately from the page.
Think about it, if you search for a particular topic using the big “G”, and you are presented with 10 search results, if you click on the 1st result and the landing page presents you with nothing REALLY useful to the topic you searched for, you bounce – or you leave the page and try the next search result. This is pretty standard right? Ok. So let’s take that one step further… Why are these results there in the first place? Why did it present me with a result that was irrelevant to the topic I searched for? Google is doing everything it can to PREVENT this from happening – this is vital to their business, their core, their fundamental reason for existance – if the results being presented are crummy, why use Google in the first place?
Well, many SEO’s believe they can actually outsmart Google and enact all sorts of strange hocus pocus to your site in order to make it rank for a term that it may or may not actually DESERVE to be ranked for – this is kinda crazy talk. If an SEO is telling you they can rank your site in the first 10 results of the SERPS for a long established, super competitive keyword phrase - and your site is not presenting anything that is *materially MORE beneficial* than the existing 10 results, your existing visitor traffic is marginal, you have no social signals or nobody in the social networking world is talking about your business and there’s no “activity” on and around your site – they are frankly being unethical and pretty much lying – RUN AWAY. Of course there are DEFINITELY some long tail terms that have weak rankings that you can rank for, but let’s say you’re a mortgage specialist or an insurance brokerage firm – those are SUPER COMPETITIVE markets and I’m afraid without a LOT OF MARKETING DOLLARS, you aint gonna outrank the people that are already there – sorry to break the news to you. Can you outrank them? well, technically yes but you need to do MORE than what they are already doing – and in competitive markets, they are doing a LOT.
What becomes more important as a business owner is understanding your market, capturing NEW sources of traffic beyond Google/search traffic that can bring you more business. Keyword research is absolutely the most important thing as well as increasing the visibility of your site / business in other areas (social signals via facebook, twitter, pinterest etc). If you aren’t incorporating these elements into your marketing mix, you aren’t going to rank or maintain your rankings vs your peers who ARE doing this – plain and simple.
So in a way, you technically CAN outrank SOME of your competition provided they are sitting on their butts and not doing some of the things I’ve mentioned. But in most competitive markets, trying to rank for a competitive keyword is going to be pretty difficult because all your competition is doing this *OTHER stuff* besides just chasing Google rankings.
This post might not clear up anything or may even confuse you more, so please pardon my rant – but I’ve seen so many crazy things people (SEO’s) are doing for clients, it’s almost embarassing and actually scary.
Longer story short, make sure when you engage an SEO that they fully understand your business as a whole – not just the fact you want to “rank”… who cares if you rank if when a visitor hits your link, they leave your site immediately because you haven’t optimized your site for conversions or for visitor engagement.
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Search Engine Optimization is a tricky “art form” that a majority of “web designers” or “web masters” don’t truly understand. There’s constant changes with Google’s algorithm, new shiny objects being promoted every day telling you that you can press a button and your site will rank #1, where does the madness stop? Or better yet, where does your madness as an SEO begin?
Most importantly, search engines recognize RELEVANCE to the keywords that you wish to rank for. If you construct your page half-decently and provide content on your site that your target audience actually wants to read, it doesn’t really take THAT much SEO wizardry for your page to rank – that is if you aren’t competing against thousands of other sites trying to rank for the same market niche.
Having said that, learn how to do proper keyword research, look for pockets of traffic that are thematically related to the kind of traffic you are seeking, and provide some backlinks from relevant sites using properly formatted anchor text. Long story short, if you want to rank, find authoritative high PR sources that are RELATED to your market, and get some links – more quality and related backlinks – the better… That’s a fundamental requirement to appear in search – if not the ONLY requirement. All the other hocus pocus out there about link wheels and web 2.0 backlinks and keyword density etc etc, they all contribute to your ranking but seriously – if you find a high PR site that is related to your market, and you get a proper keyword anchor text link back to your site – you’ll probably rank for the keyword you’re going after on just one or two links alone (of course depending on your competitors and how many authoritative links they have). Now what keywords should you go after? That’s a whole different story in itself, so stay tuned and we’ll get into that in an upcoming post.Mail this post
It’s definitely interesting when you REALLY start looking at your webstats / site analytics. There’s so much valuable data that analytics saves it’s a shame that most webmasters or companies don’t pay any attention whatsoever to what their visitors are actually doing on their site – or how they got their in the first place for that matter.
On the same note – the data is also meaningful when you see what your competition is trying to do in order to “reverse engineer” what you’re doing. It’s actually quite funny that people are still trying to outrank me for certain terms when they don’t seem to realize that those terms aren’t even being searched by the public at large – and really only being searched by SEO guys like us just for the sake of seeing what ranks! I’m going to revive one of my experiments I did on one of my other sites I conducted back in 2009. I tried to rank for a certain keyword phrase with a mastermind group I was running and wanted to demonstrate to them how you could rank very quickly – sometimes hours depending on how competitive the keyword was. Well, fast forward 3 years and it appears other SEO’s have decided to throw down the gauntlet. Let’s see if I can outrank my OTHER page for that keyword using this site and I’ll post the results later. Stay tuned!Mail this post