Today’s blog is a guest post from my friends and SEO peers over the water from Dejan SEO Australia.
Its content are very apt and I’d urge you go through and and them to your SEO list of ‘must read’ sites.
Transparency NOTE: This post is not a sponsored post and no financial gain (or other wise) has been received in return for publishing it. It has been published because I believe that there is always more than one way of doing things, and I like Dejan SEO’s ethos. The post has not been edited in anyway and is published as it was written originally.
Now, on with the show…
Over the past few weeks, starting from day one we have seen a bunch of posts about what to do to get out of Penguin clutches. Sure, some of them sound good, some of them seem just general good advice timed when people need them, and some are just crap. Anyway, 9 out of 10 of those articles are premature, people guessing, hoping to get new audience and get some traffic flowing. Of course there are a few that do point out some great stuff, and these are the ones that don’t focus on link building issues alone. No, they dive deeper into the subject and try to figure out the best way in the long run. Even a few “case studies” I’ve seen I held my head as it started to hurt. The fact is that even after a month we still don’t have enough evidence to support any claim regarding the Penguin update, so let’s take it slow, one step at a time, starting from our own website and then moving on to link building.
Hmm, even though I said that I am going to start with a link building advice. I will give one simple, but at the same time difficult, advice that can help you with Penguin issue. I bet you didn’t see this coming, well here it is:
- Build high quality authority links
Wow, just that, that’s simple, no it’s not, uhmmm…. Damn…
I know, so let me explain. We know one thing about the Penguin update, it targets link spam and link schemes, my point is, don’t go around removing your links because you are not sure if they bring any quality to the table. We are still not sure, but what we are sure of for the past few years is that a few amazing links can turn the table around. So I say don’t remove any links, work incredibly hard on getting 3, 5 or 10 amazing links from authority sources, and the next few steps will help you get to that. First understand the reasoning behind it. With all the SEO outing and negative SEO talk, and even some experiments, a few things I heard personally from Google employees in hangouts, is that high authority sites have a low probability of being affected by Penguin update, even if someone was to gradually build a bunch of spam and low quality links. (Note: low probability, not impossible!)
So with that in mind, let’s finally do what we need to do, and that is make our site an authority that can’t be touched by the future Penguins released by Google, and we are going to do that without having a Q/A on what links work now and which ones don’t!
Here is a Q/A for you! Answer these 3 simple questions and when you do answer them, act upon those answers as guidelines and you will do more than just fine, you will do great.
- What makes a site an authority?
- What makes a site attractive for users?
- What makes a site linkable?
Although simple questions and in some cases straightforward answers, they can also be very difficult, but I’ll try to explain so anyone can understand.
What makes a site an authority, well, this can be different from market to market, but in general it’s the trust the site has. Not just the site, but every single asset on the site. Your website is as weak as your weakest page, remember that. Work on your deeper pages, but that is not it, yes, quality is the best remedy, but take a look around, there are countless websites with quality content, that is no longer an issue, you need to stand out and stand above the rest of the quality sites. That is when you can be considered an authority; here is how to get there.
Investigate your assets:
- Deeper content that attracted natural links and mentions
- Company relations
- Individual online relations
- Social outreach of each member of your little or large company, group, community
That is the first step, you found out a few unused opportunities that can be put to good use. Let’s move on. Investigate the competition:
- What pages on their site attract organic traffic
- Why are those pages attracting traffic
- Can you do better?
Yes, it all comes down to that, can you do better, more attractive. If they create a great resource, you create an even better resource that is at the same time attractive. If they have a ‘how to’ resource 3,000 words long, you create an interactive resource that is not so hard and long to read, but keeps the user engaged.
- Think creative
- Visual studies and examples
Then go even further, build on that:
- Social outreach
- Community service
- Press coverage
- Get people to talk about your brand
- Let them do the promotion for you!
Yes, that is what quality SEO is about, attracting the right type of crowd, and not just ranking for trophy keywords and at the same time using the crowd to promote your website. Once you figure out which assets can get the traffic you need to dig deeper and expand. Even a micro idea can become huge, and that is with the advice and examples above you get a site that is attractive and linkable, and before you know it, it becomes an authority site.
F! Penguin and F# Panda and other updates, if you just take the money you invest in buying links and link schemes, micro sites and blog networks you can create some great assets that will do wonders for you if you just promote them the right way and to the right crowd. Any of these updates is aimed at improving search to a certain degree, well, is it that hard to figure out what Google wants you to do? Don’t panic, don’t delete your links, take a look at your site, is it really good as you thought or is it lacking, trust me, you can always do better!