BRIEF HISTORY OF GOOGLE'S SEARCH ENGINE ALGORITHM
Google's original algorithm was based on the premise of hyperlink citations: If a website had a hyperlink (http://www.example.com) embedded somewhere then that would be counted as an endorsement to the website that was embedded.
Then, whatever text someone anchored in the hyperlink--Example: http://www.branding.fm would be web design--would signal Google's search engine to rank for the term that was anchored.
This led to a lot of abuse by spammers, so much so that Google had to do several updates called Panda and Penguin that penalized sites that had low quality incoming links, and rewarded sites with great incoming links, on page SEO, authorship, social media and so on.
That's the briefest possible way of explaining that Google still favors these incoming links, even though they're lower on the factor list; it's just that the quality factors of these incoming links are extremely high...so high in fact that it's difficult for an internet marketer to build one and still get an ROI for his/her efforts.
HOW DO YOU GET INCOMING LINKS?
There are many ways to get or buy links, but the best way is to make your content so qualitative that people in your industry want to link to you from their personal or business website.
HIGH QUALITY SCORES OF INCOMING LINKS
Not all links are equal. They may have been considered at one time to be votes, but remember that they're considered by Google's search engine to be endorsements: The President's endorsement is more powerful than a fast food worker's endorsement, and an authority in your industry who links to your site may have the power to rank your site for tough terms in your niche.
So, what are the high quality scores of websites that are sending you incoming links?
- Legitimate Website
- User Interaction
- Click through rate to your website
- A high quality backlink profile
- Social Media integration
- Relevant content that is associated with your website's content
- High traffic
- On page SEO
- High Amount of pages with good content
TOP FIVE WEB PAGES WITH INCOMING LINKS
Here is my top five list of websites that embed incoming links, assuming you had a business in Redding:
- Relevant business site's homepage
- An authority's homepage, relevant to your niche
- A high traffic blog post about your industry
- A news article from a legitimate newspaper
- A Facebook share on a highly relevant business page
SOCIAL MEDIA SEO SOCIAL SIGNALS
Yes, the likes, shares, tweets, plus one's, and so on, have relevancy to ranking your site organically. As of right now, as far as our testing goes, it's not a huge factor in ranking websites, but it's enough to take it seriously, because it will be a huge factor. As soon as Google's engineers figure out how to create quality scores based on authorship, then we'll see a shift from incoming links to social sharing, but it hasn't worked for them so far.
STEPS TO OPTIMIZING YOUR SOCIAL ACCOUNTS
These steps have nothing to do with converting customers from social media, but everything to do with ranking your social media profiles, and boosting your web page with the interlinking and integrating of your social media profiles onto your web page.
- The first step to optimizing your social account is to get a social account. That sounds funny, but a lot of small business owners do not get social profiles for their business, and, if and when they do, they don't post regularly to them. That means the top three: Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. If you're in the fashion, photography, or art niche, you need Pinterest and Instagram.
- Fill out every bit of information for your social media profiles and add several photos that are niche relevant...niche relevant means no pictures of your kids or dog, unless they're in your office or at your work site.
- Post relevant content from your website that is helpful to the public; this will drive local traffic to your website which will, in turn, boost your organic ranking status.
LOCATION BASED SEO
f you're attempting to rank locally in Redding, California, you will need to get a Google Places for businesses account--that literally puts you on the map with just some form filling and sending a post card. Just make sure you fill out everything, make your descriptions natural sounding, and add as many images as possible. The other main location based account, although it's technically a social networking service, is Foursquare.
BUSINESS CITATION SEO
Business citations are important for driving traffic to your website--remember that Google counts traffic outside their SE as an important factor in ranking. They don't have that much power as an incoming link, because their is usually a high number of outbound links on these sites, but they do have power if there's enough content and you have your own business page; a Linkedin business page is a great example of this.
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is one of our favorite ways to optimize. You can blend several RSS blends and syndicate them to Readers across the internet. This brings traffic and signals to Google the importance of the content being displayed.
Submitting high quality content to a press release on an authoritative PR distribution site can lead to great results, if they're done right. Examples of great press release distributors: PRweb.com, SBwire.com, and PRnewswire.com.
OTHER NOTEWORTHY OFF PAGE SEO LINKS
- Guest Blogging
- Photo Sharing
- Audio Sharing
- Document Sharing
- Video Promotion
- Yellow Pages/Local Citations
- Article Submission to Authority Sites
- Shopping Networks (if you sell products)
- Widgets, Plugins, Extensions
- Advertising (this brings a good balance of NoFollow links to your backlink portfolio)
n contrast with on page SEO, off page SEO deals with everything you do, or happens naturally, to rank a website organically outside of your website. On page SEO is a definite requirement, but off page SEO packs the biggest punch, and two working together is like nitroglycerin. Depending on the competition of your niche, you will see results quickly, and, depending on your consistency, those results should last.