Many of us have trouble explaining what SEO is and how it can benefit one’s website. We talk about links, rankings, traffic so on and so forth in anticipation that they will realize that making the commitment to SEO will benefit their site. I agree with Joel Klettke, SEO truly stands for search engine optimization meaning coding and optimizing on page for the search engines.
However, I believe the job of an SEO has become so much more than that now because of Google’s recent algorithm changes (Panda/Penguin). To continue to succeed we now need to be content marketers, link builders, social media experts and more. So instead of trying to cramp all those titles onto a business card, I just stick with SEO.
On top of that there’s the argument of which form of SEO is most effective, black hat, white hat or somewhere in between. Google has been fighting the good fight against link spammers for awhile now, but there’s evidence of these black hat tactics still being effective today. Odds are some form of black hat SEO will always exist, although to do good white hat SEO it just takes common sense.
High Quality Content is Common Sense
Rand Fishkin has been a big advocate of creating high quality content and SEOMoz is a great example of that. Wil Reynolds coined the term real company shit (#RCS) which, in all reality, is the exact same thing. But why did it take these two and others for the rest of us to recognize that high quality content would be beneficial for our site?
Its been one of the only tidbits, Matt Cutts, leader of Google’s webspam team, has always preached.
We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content.
That quote comes right from Google’s official webmaster central blog back in April.
Then there’s the question of what is high quality content? Another topic of countless blog posts across the Internet, so let me summarize a good 90% of them.
- Answer commonly asked questions in your niche
- Provide useful and informational content
- Create something that people will want to share
- Detailed product descriptions
- Customer reviews
- Boost egos
- Give back
- …and be funny
Why are all of those suggestions useful? Because they are common sense. Each one of those points hit are reasons why we turn to the Internet or help users reach a final decision. The last few are generous gestures in hopes of getting the same in return. What would you rather read, a detailed Q&A from one of the industry leaders or a 500 word article that has been spun so many times the article doesn’t make sense anymore. It just makes sense.
Gaining Links from Relevant Sites Rather Than By Shear Numbers Is Common Sense
What makes more sense to you?
Yes, like anything, you do something long enough and you are bound to get lucky every once in awhile, like hitting a jackpot on a slot machine. Although, more often than not, you are going to lose and lose a lot. That’s always been my feeling when acquiring links. Gaining links just to gain links may look good to some and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. but it doesn’t necessarily mean good things will follow. In fact, it could result in a drop in rankings or a manual penalty from Google.
Instead, looking to sites within your niche, that have an established audience, and providing them with something useful — whether its by guest posting or alerting them to something you’ve already created that could be attractive to them — could produce huge dividends for your site. Why? Because its common sense. Targeting relevant sites has a much higher likelihood that those links will result in new visitors. Why? Because they were already interested in the similar content on the other site.
So this theory hits on two levels. It increases your chances that your links will actually bring in new customers and it pleases Google. It just makes sesne.
Other things that are just common sense…
Who was more popular in high school, the star quarterback or the lone member of the chess club? Yes that guy from the chess club probably owns his own accounting firm now and the quarterback may be just scraping by, but it was his popularity in high school that won him homecoming king. Building relationships with other bloggers can only help your cause as they are going to be more likely to share your content and send you links because of your strong relationship.
Be an Expert
This one is also pretty obvious. The more knowledge you have on a subject, the more people will turn to you for answers. It also opens up more opportunities for guest posts, interviews and natural links because you are so damn smart.
Speed up the Load Time of your Site
We all have the attention span of a goldfish nowadays and if your site consistently takes too long to load we will find another way to find the answer we were looking for. Its also one of Google’s ranking signals
Be Active on Social Media
They are the largest sites on the Internet with a wide range of audience. They are your best shot of being seen and getting your high quality content to go viral. come on now…it only makes sense!