crobb305 - 8:36 pm on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)
Here's what I've been doing for over a year now that seems to work well and reiterates what has been said and hinted around.
1. Focus on conversion and user experience. Not a far stretch to think the PPC quality score algo has been implemented on the organic side and the CTR, bounce rate, time on site, etc.. play a role here. If any of you have done PPC, you know what I'm talking about. Hence, focus on the user and the experience. Improve conversion, lower bounce rates...
2. Link building - build brand links in droves. Don't worry so much about exact match anchor text (unless your profile is choked full of them, then you need to worry), build the brand, deep link where you can, the rest will follow.
3. Content and on-page - basic SEO 101 applies here and still works (just don't over do it), content needs to be more interesting and the page should contain what the user's intended it to be about. Not sure here? Check all the sites that rank in the top 10 for a hint on the "intent". What do they do that you don't? What's on their page that you don't have? If you have all of the above, see #1 and focus on improving that, then work on #2. Still not there? Then you over did the on-page or on-site and probably have an OOP.
Those are good tips. A question I am struggling with is internal linking (sitewide navigation, content links to other pages, or even to the homepage, etc). I don't see a lot of discussion about that, however. I'm worried that modifying the internal link structure will worsen existing penalties. It seems like any small tweak I make to improve the site causes the site to lose position. We shouldn't live in fear of changing our sites. To me, it's like getting an HOA fine every time you plant a new shrub in your yard, but unfortunately it's exactly what I am seeing.