How Google Rewards Quality SEO
When search engines like Google, Yahoo and Alta Vista (R.I.P.) first started indexing the Internet, their algorithms rewarded sites that had many links to them from external sites (that was enough to establish that the site had something worth other sites referring users to). For a long time this meant that the system could be gamed by people who bought links or traded links, or set up numerous worthless sites for the sole purpose of linking, or created bad links to competitors (black hat tactics). But, as it happens with evolution, search engines have gotten smarter and smarter, and the Google algorithm in particular has adjusted over the years to narrow its focus ensuring that it is the quality of the site and how much it benefits the user that guarantees a higher ranking.
There is a reason why we have the phrase “the cream always rises to the top,” and Google’s latest algorithmic changes prove that adage is particularly true when it comes to search rankings on the Internet. In 2013, search engine optimization (SEO) has really evolved into a much wider strategy than it ever was before. As social sharing (especially with the data the Googlebots can collect with Google+) allows search engines to take into account the virality of a website, linking has dropped in importance.
While external links will always be important to website rankings, the nature of how it is evaluated has changed drastically and will continue to do so. In order not to be penalized for this tactic link sharing has to be done in tandem with superior web development (mobile and desktop), web design, content development, and social sharing.
“The philosophy that we’ve always had is if you make something that’s compelling then it would be much easier to get people to write about it and to link to it. And so a lot of people approach it from a direction that’s backwards. They try to get the links first and then they want to be grandfathered in or think they will be a successful website as a result.
Their goal should really be to make a fantastic website that people love and tell their friends about and link to and want to experience. As a result, your website starts to become stronger and stronger in the rankings.”
– Matt Cutts, Lead Google Webspam Team
Your Web Marketing Team Should Focus on Creativity and Consistency
In some ways, the Google Algorithm has propelled a leap in marketing that we should all be grateful for (even though it can be painful at times). Web Marketing firms now need to focus on both the traditional, creative approach to relaying brand messaging and the new internet-born strategies of linking and leveraging keywords.
But, as the algorithms continue to narrow and take in more data points (Google+), the need to work both old and new strategies together gets stronger. This is why your web development team must be a team that knows how to build SEO into a well-strategized marketing campaign.
A focus on “building links” and using other short-term tactics may drive traffic in the near term, but sites that are penalized by Google are never in a silo. Their penalties affect the sites that they link to and that link to them. So, building an online presence based only on Web 1.0 SEO tactics (and bad ones at that) is building a house of cards that could be toppled at any moment, by the actions of anyone you have aligned yourself with, intentionally or not.
Social SEO Will Bring Us Back To Building Brands
What is perhaps the most exciting change within the web development space for firms like ours that focus on an entire marketing strategy, is the fact that Search Engine algorithmic changes are driving us “back to brand building”. What does that mean? It means that the keywords that define your brand (your company) are how you should be defining yourself across the board in everything from web marketing to traditional marketing to your company culture.
A savvy web development firm that is focused on helping you build your web presence for long term success will help you focus on the key components that comprise your brand. They will also help you identify the differentiators between you and your competitors (what makes you better than the competition?) and then leverage those ideas with keywords and keyphrases that will make it easier for potential new customers to find you.
SEO is time consuming and a process that requires a great deal of planning in order to achieve short-term and long-term goals. As a stand alone marketing tactic SEO is not difficult to implement (time consuming and tedious yes, but not difficult). However, Google has made it clear that SEO as a stand alone tactic will not be enough (and may even get you penalized). SEO in 2013 and the future needs to be part of a wider web marketing strategy that brings best practices for web development and web marketing together to focus on extending your brand further than it has ever been possible to reach. For more information on quality SEO and how to achieve it, talk to one of our experts at Premiere Creative and give us a call at (973) 346-8100.