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Next Generation SEO
tedster




msg:4503836
 4:58 am on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

In the Panda Update thread [webmasterworld.com] MrSavage suggested: "let's talk strategies and next generation SEO so we can battle back and fight another day."

I'd like to start that ball rolling. I see at least two key areas for top level strategy:
  1. Focus on your visitor/customer experience
    a. Understand your analytics package, make it perform to its full capacity.
    b. Find the technical means to tap into browser signals for yourself.
    c. Invest resources toward REPEAT visitors/customers. Offline marketers know that acquiring new business requires much more resource investment than holding on to those who have already found you.

  2. Avoid heavy handed and merely technical SEO
    a. The most obvious place this applies is link building. If a type of link doesn't generate traffic (there goes analytics again) then don't go after it in any way.
    b. In on-page and on-site SEO, appreciate that search engines today have many effective means to measure signals like relevance. We no longer need to "shout" at them to get our relevance messages to register.
    c. Appreciate that today's algorithms are extremely complex. A simplistic "checklist" approach can create problems, or at least be a big frustration.

[edited by: tedster at 8:34 am (utc) on Oct 4, 2012]

 

Simsi




msg:4504939
 8:17 pm on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

incrediBill - what people need when mobile may often vary wildly from what they need when sitting at a desktop


I totally subscribe to this. When many people talk about mobile they are thinking "devices" when they should be thinking "location".

When you are on the move you more often have less time so you generally want answers to questions or quick information. This is where Google's "Knowledge Engine" dream and Apple's Siri chick fit in IMO. I would also hazard a guess that more mobile searches are likely to be questions or queries that require one answer.

At home though, how many searches are direct questions and how often do you only want one answer or one result? You have a bigger screen, easier keyboard and most importantly, more time. Most times in this location when I hit Google, I want multiple opinions/options to explore and a much lower percentage of my Google searches are direct questions.

I don't see Siri as useful at home either - much for the same reasons as above and also because many people will feel self conscious talking to themselves or will be told to stfu while the TV's on!

You could argue, based on the above, that SEO will diverge over time but there is a two-pronged attack option: the long-term future of "SEO" in my opinion is learning how to be regarded as an authority on a given subject. Simple as that.

Whitey




msg:4504955
 10:47 pm on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Bing and Google both take note of social signals.

How? Are we talking FB and G+ etc.

[youtube.com...] Matt Cutts on social signals .

chewy




msg:4504956
 11:02 pm on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Great discussion everybody!

Great to hear things like AIDA and other useful marketing concepts getting woven in.

@tedster - at the top of the thread, possibly the second post, you mentioned something about how it was possible to "get metrics from ALL of our visitors who have JavaScript active rather than just a subset."

You said "in fact we can get them from those with JS"...

Is this is a dream, an ideal or comment on days gone by, a provocation for someone to finally figure it out, or is there truly a way to do this?

ZydoSEO




msg:4504969
 3:51 am on Oct 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Tedster is ABSOLUTELY correct.

Previously, most here were like... Okay. I want to sell blue widgets. Buy the domain bluewidgets.tld. Go build a bunch of crappy links to it with "blue widgets" as the link text using unnatural link building techniques (blog commenting, forum sigs, article submissions, directory submissions, video submissions, etc.) and you rank at the top of page 1 and make a lot of $$$.

While this might be great for people here... it's generally terrible for users. Thus Panda, Penguin, EMD, and the future changes at Google.

You people need to think differently now. Those old techniques no longer work... and rightly so. Unfortunately, if you want to make money selling blue widgets on bluewidgets.tld, you actually have to do some "real" work now.

Before you even build content, you should be thinking things like:

Where on the web can I find people who would be interested in blue widgets?

Once you know all of the places where those people hang out online, think:

What can I build that those sites where my targeted users hang out would find useful?

What could I build or write that those sites where my targeted users hang out would WANT to link to?

Then build it. This is NOT typically a few hours or days worth of work. I'm spending on average 500-1000+ hours building out an affiliate site now. A lot of work... a long term investment.

Once I've build it, getting HIGH quality links to it is a breeze. And those sites have withstood and actually benefited from subsequent Panda, Penguin, and now EMD updates.

I'm emailing associations and such in my niche to tell them I have this great resource that will be useful to their users. Most would say this is a waste of time. But surprisingly, because I've spent so much time building out the content that users would have needed to spend days looking for, a very high percentage of the sites I contact actually give me a link on their site. And these are National and state associations in that niche. I'm getting a link for somewhere betwee 10-15% of the emails I send out. And the links on those sites drive a LOT of referral traffic.

I've spent the last year reading everything I can from Eric Ward and others about link building. Merit based link building is what he's been preaching for years. And it works. It's the closest thing to being "Google update-proof".

Natural, editorial links given by other webmasters because they think you provide some great resource to their users will ALWAYS outlast the quick and dirty, manufactured, unnatural links you build by "planting" links on other web sites using blog commenting, RSS, forum sigs, directory submission, article submission, etc. If you cannot get other webmasters to link to your site naturally just by letting them know that your content exists then your site is not worthy of ranking well at Google.

As Zivush said, it's ALL about providing value. If your site provides GREAT content, GREAT tools, GREAT value to visitors then getting backlinks becomes an absolute no brainer. And ultimately backlinks are going to make you rank. Simply having a great exact match domain for a phrase that gets a lot of searches monthly with a few crappy links is no longer going to get you to page 1.

Forget about search engines. Think about what is useful to users. Think about where those users can be found on the web. Think about how to get those sites where they can be found to link to you... Build it. Promote it. And you will win... and no update is going to negatively affect you.

scooterdude




msg:4505063
 1:17 pm on Oct 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am reading a lot of words, but out of kindness I ll state that IMHO,it's mostly archaic nonsense

ponyboy96




msg:4505073
 1:46 pm on Oct 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's been well known that Bing and Google both take note of social signals. So, if the social channels are talking heavily about Brand XYZ and nobody is buying it through those channels, that chatter contributes to the ranking algos.

Since social channels and blogs are the main ways consumers can leave their thoughts for search engines to evaluate, they represent the true popularity of brands in a way that is harder to game. ]


I was referring to things like Facebook, Google+ and the like. Yes, there are signals there now that contribute to your overall relevancy or trust score, but in the future and even today social is becoming its own specialty. It won't be very relevant to SEO down the road. It's just the new shiny object is all. That being said, does anyone have an example where getting more Facebook likes has improved their rankings?

Whitey




msg:4505656
 10:56 pm on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

does anyone have an example where getting more Facebook likes has improved their rankings?

I doubt it, per my above post and reference re "Matt Cutts on social signals" .

tedster




msg:4505703
 2:21 am on Oct 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

When it comes to a lot of these newer forms of online marketing, they may well have more of an indirect influence on ranking rather than being a directly used metric. What Google is measuring directly (and how they acquire that data) is still quite an open question - one we're considering in a new thread: What user metrics is Google using to determine rank? [webmasterworld.com]

The good news is that addressing these areas can have a DIRECT influence on your market, your visitors and customer. That beats the remote control that going through search engines offers - and in my experience, somehow or other, when you keep your market happy, search engines DO notice that. It's almost their "holy grail" because they also want to send their users to websites that they wil; be happy with.

diberry




msg:4505769
 5:16 am on Oct 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

they may well have more of an indirect influence on ranking rather than being a directly used metric


Yes, this. Popularity in social media creates a distinctive link profile, and links are what Google's all about. But Google can't assume a site is quality just because people on Twitter like it. So social probably isn't a factor on its own, but it's probably part of the overall link profile. Or it's a factor, but one that's too weak to create any obvious movement we could track.

Whitey




msg:4507155
 2:19 am on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Amit Singhal of Google : Overheard next table at Starbucks, "With Google Panda and Penguin our tricks don't work." Glad they didn't recognize me.
[twitter.com...]

To me this says a lot as to where the future focus of webmasters should be, to back up the futuristic comments above.

zeus




msg:4507926
 10:43 am on Oct 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

tedster - As I know, not that many use siri at all, also I dont think people would only like 1 answer/result, they want options so they can pick the right answer/result.

tedster




msg:4507963
 4:03 pm on Oct 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

That's the way I see things too, zeus. We'll see how Google and Apple think as time goes forward, I guess.

All the evidence we have right not says they both see a one-answer future. That "may be" part of the picture (at least for small mobile devices) but I can't see one-answer search being the only thing that the general public really wants.

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