It’s the Readers, Stupid
TAMPA, FLORIDA — Changes to the link schemes information in Google’s Webmaster Tools became the proverbial shot heard ‘round the search engine optimization world recently.
The biggest change SEO companies seem to be talking about has to do with the use of keyword-rich anchor text in articles and press releases that are posted to distribution sites.
Understand this: writing articles and press releases for clients’ websites and posting different versions of them to distribution sites has been one of the link building methods we have used for years. As you can imagine, news of this change definitely got the attention of this SEO firm.
Google’s Webmaster Tools section states, “Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links” can negatively impact a site’s search results ranking. It also labels “links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites” as examples of unnatural links that violate Google’s guidelines.
There are experts out there who say Google is beginning to look more at social media when determining search rankings. Although it is still underutilized compared to Facebook and Twitter, Google+ obviously comes to mind when it is suggested that Google is leaning more heavily on social media for ranking guidance. Steve Rayson at Social Media Today recently posted information on 10 ways that Google+ can improve your SEO.
Among his reasons, Rayson cited the fact that Google treats content on Google+ the same as it does any page on the Web. Google+ authorship gives authors higher visibility in search results, and using Google authorship is connected to content authority, he says.
Beating a Dead Horse
We say it over and over again. Content should be about the readers, not the links. Search engines aren’t buying your products and services; people are. What do your clients want? What questions are they asking in search engines? What common requests, questions and comments are repeatedly shared with you in your line of work? Write content that addresses those items and you increase your likelihood of being increasing your business – not just increasing your ranking in search results.
We know this here at Sinai Marketing, and yet, we as writers still get caught up in the keyword hype. There are times I feel like a programmed robot sputtering things to myself like “must insert keyword here.”
I hate it.
I hate having an interesting topic, creating a catchy headline, and then screwing it all up with a boring-ass title tag because I had to squeeze in a specific keyword.
In a way, I feel as though Google has released me. Now we can write great content. Period. We no longer have to tweak multiple versions and post them all over the Internet for the sole purpose of gaining those coveted links on distribution sites. Google advises us now to make the links “no follow” if we want to post to the distribution sites.
Does this change the game for us and make link building a bit more challenging? Sure.
“As always, this change prompts us to come up with a new and even more natural way of getting quality links for our clients,” says Sinai Marketing CEO Ali Husayni.
How do we plan to do that? It’s a work in progress. For the immediate future, the bottom line is combining pay-per-click advertising and social media marketing to advance a site’s popularity. Site popularity increases the site’s ranking on search engines. We have a few other ideas up our sleeves that we’re pursuing, so stay tuned. We will write about them in the coming weeks.
What we know is that ultimately, our clients will be better as a result of the Google change because our goal as always is to provide the highest quality SEO services available anywhere.