I had high hopes for my website when I put it up in 2009. Like every newbie webmaster, I spent a lot of time carefully constructing my site and making sure that the elements would work.
I didn’t know much about search engine optimization then, but because I wanted my website to take off, I took time to learn more about SEO. I was overwhelmed at first. There are so many different elements that go into proper SEO. Three years later, I’m still learning more about it each day. In the end, I have redirected my attention to this craft.
Now that I know more, I can look back at my first attempt and point out the mistakes I made. I’ve come to learn that those mistakes are ones frequently encountered by most new webmasters.
The first error is putting too much focus on content and web design. Don’t get me wrong, these elements are important. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to this simple fact: what good is content when nobody is around to see it? This is why web promotion is important.
Back then, social sharing over the internet was already beginning to make waves. Today, it’s one of the most effective ways of promoting a website. But important as it may be, it isn’t the only aspect of web promotion.
More than just social sharing, employing the right web promotion strategies bring in sales. This is what drove me to learn more about SEO. In order to be successful, SEO and proper link building is necessary; with emphasis on the word ‘proper’.
It’s easy to accept the notion that a link is a link and it’s just that. In the SEO world, however, link quality matters. It’s the most important factor in determining how high a website ranks. To drive this point home further, it’s important to rank on a search engine because it’s the cheapest form of promotion.
Times have changed and strategies have shifted to a new direction. Due to Google’s major updates, the SEO world has changed. This year in particular, the changes have been cataclysmic. As a result, previously loved and tested SEO strategies are slowly becoming archaic and some, obsolete.
Photo Credit: Bruce Clay, Inc
Back to the basics – On-Page Optimization
For years, many optimizers adhered to black hat methods -gaming Google using shady technical tricks- which made optimizing websites a thing of the past. That is, until the major updates came.
In its simplest definition, on-page optimization makes site architecture search engine-friendly. When a website has quality and up-to-date content, it reflects on their meta-data. Thus, spider crawling is made easier, and in return, the page ranks high.
Revamping Techniques – Contextual Comments vs Link Spam
Like we discussed previously, the earlier days of SEO adhered to the mantra ‘a link is a link is a link’ but those days are long gone. Back then, SEOs took advantage of and made use of every website they could put a link on. As a result, unsuspecting blogs and various web directories were highly susceptible to comment spam.
‘Buy viagra’, ‘blackjacks’, ‘air jordans’ are among the countless ‘spammy’ terms that were automatically submitted through paid software (or worse, sold as services). These terms easily mined backlinks on a single click. But weren’t anywhere near organic, nor were they placed in decent contextual blogs.
Thanks to anti-spamming plug-ins such as Akismet, comments and IPs were highly-filtered. Similar plug-ins proliferated; but the changes in search algorithms, resulting in diminishing returns, ultimately prompted blackhat purists to abandon comment spamming.
Consequently, tactics were changed from high-quantity backlinks to a select few high-quality ones. These links aren’t generic spun comments going through hundreds of revisions, but are actual persons communicating and contributing to conversations. Not only does this help in link building, it also contributes in enhancing a website’s reputation.
Social Media Campaigns
I talked about my attempt to make the most out of social media platforms earlier. I wasn’t quite as successful as I had hoped because as it turns out, I wasn’t doing it right.
All I really had then was a Facebook page, and of course, having one back then didn’t really mean that much. In 2010, Facebook introduced the concept of ‘Like’. As you probably know, this revolutionized the way business is done via social networking. Social media has made reaching a target market much easier. But it’s important to point out that the proper handling of different networks is the key to identifying and reaching potential prospects. It not only drives referral traffic, it also contributes to a business’s reputation.
SEO is a field that continues to grow, with search engines developing their algorithms on a regular basis. In turn, SEO services continue to develop and expand as well. While this is the case, only one thing is certain: the use of white label SEO strategies is the driving factor for the success of every website.
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