Search engine optimization is evolving at record pace and failing to keep track of the changes and growth will undoubtedly lead to significant website traffic loss. The rate of change can be daunting to follow as Google’s team learns to respond quicker to the web and become more efficient at spotting growing trends that are hurting the market. In spite of all these changes I note one common factor in every decision they make and that’s pleasing their customers, who are users of the search engine, keeping results relevant. Its that simple and that’s their search business. The better results they provide, the greater the value of their search product for users and advertisers.
Once you understand their intention and what you as the user really want, things become much clearer and you’ll begin to understand most of the decisions they make as they change algorithms and can even predict future changes and plan ahead.
Online marketers have often been disappointed and enraged by Google’s many changes to signals that adversely affect marketing techniques that have worked for the majority for years. So from the marketers’ perspective that’s years of hard work down the drain. However, I truly believe that aligning marketing activities with giving users’ quality content will always land you in a safe spot. So, keep your efforts geared towards that.
Here are 3 powerful tactics that Google is clamping down on and how you can still get the most out of them.
The art of guest blogging is dying many would say or as I put it, “the traditional art is dying but not the concept itself isn’t.” The reason for guest blogging’s death is that millions of marketers have used the technique mainly for selling and building links and not for genuinely adding value to the community. Oftentimes you’ll receive many emails from article marketers who want to post guest articles on your blog for the price of placing links back to their content. This is the exact type of solicitation that Google dislikes. Plus, I can guarantee that 99% of the guest articles received in this manner are poorly written regurgitated posts you can find all over the web. Value added to your site: zero.
On Matt Cutts’ blog, Google’s head of web spam, since this year he said:
…guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.
He discourages guest blogging on a whole but goes on to say that it should only be reserved for truly contributing to a community by providing valuable perspectives and content. So he eventually updates his article and says:
It seems like most people are getting the spirit of what I was trying to say, but I’ll add a bit more context. I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there.
So the gist of what I’m saying is that you need to get out of the mindset of using guest blogging solely for the purpose of building backlinks to your site. You wouldn’t fly half way around the world to present at a conference only to give a crappy presentation just for the sake of being there. So reserve your absolute best as a guest.
Guest blogging is still a powerful strategy for engaging new communities, getting your message out there and reaching new people; you need to represent something of value and express that. Read more about Matt Cutts’ view on guest blogging here.
Blog Directory Submissions
Website directory submissions in every niche is governed by common rules: the quality of the links submitted, how links and profiles are acquired and the metrics and standards used for prioritizing and storing these links. As it is with guest blogging and everything that eventually becomes mainstream, quality gets diluted and a majority of the market tries to game the industry.
There are lots of directories out there and many bloggers have discredited the point of submitting their sites to directories but this art is not dead either. The trick is to find quality directories with good reputations to submit your sites to. Directories that not only store information on the sites but provide useful information on what the site is about, offers rating and useful resources for discovering sites. One such blog directory is the Eaton Web Blog Directory. It provides additional insight into websites’ performance which is pretty useful for targeting sites that present valuable opportunities for reaching a wider online community. Google stills values quality directories.
As said before your marketing and SEO strategies should be geared towards providing valuable content for users, becoming a powerful resource and you will reap the rewards from Google.