When Google released the so-called ‘Panda’ update in February 2011, the event was heralded as signaling the end for high volume, low end link building practices. By targeting scraper sites and those featuring irrelevant, low quality back links, Google achieved their aim of redefining the search engine results pages (SERP’s) and banishing inappropriate sites from their midst. Even well-established websites suffered as a result, with popular shopping comparison resource Ciao losing an estimated 94% of its SEO visibility.
Rather than eliminating high volume link building practices entirely, however, Google’s continual evolution has instead forced businesses to create more diverse marketing strategies. Budgets that were once sunk into securing thousands of article directory links and content syndication have now been shared across other activities, with techniques such as guest posting becoming increasingly popular. It is little wonder that this type of integrated link building strategy is being favored by businesses, as this minimizes the potential impact of any future Google updates and crackdowns.
3 Key Trends and how they can help to inform a Productive SEO Strategy
As well as encouraging businesses to adopt integrated link building campaigns, Google’s increasingly targeted updates are also forcing marketers to make sure that they execute these strategies well and tap into the type of expert knowledge delivered by Ingenuity Digital. With this in mind, here are three key SEO staples and how they can be used to create an informed SEO strategy.
Resist the Lure of Directory (and similar) Links
Once the bedrock of any successful link building campaign, directory links have suffered notably in the wake of Google’s Panda update. In the months immediately its release, Panda was reported to have led to the de-indexing of approximately 50% of directory submission sites, targeting those perceived to be of low quality. While this may have rendered thousands of previously established back links irrelevant, however, it is still possible for businesses to use directory resources as part of their integrated marketing strategy.
The key is to look beyond metrics such as domain authority, and instead focus on alternative site metrics such as traffic and the number of pages that are indexed by Google.
Be strategic when publishing Author Bio and Guest Post Links
While directory submission sites may have lost their relevance, however, links generated through guest posting offer far greater value. These are typically placed in author biographies at the bottom of the post, although in-content links can also be beneficial so long as they do not over emphasize exact match keywords in text anchors and instead use a relevant brand name. If executed correctly, guest posting can generate high quality authority links and expose your business to a larger and more motivated target audience, especially if you augment this with prolific and targeted social sharing.
Be selective when considering Reciprocal Links
Rather like directory submission links, reciprocal links have been rendered less effective by Google’s Panda update. This conflicts with the assertion that they are largely redundant, however, as the fact remains that they can be used sparingly but to great effect. Reciprocal links are arranged when two websites agree to link with one another, with the purpose of driving traffic between sites and boosting each businesses SEO visibility. The key to successfully executing this strategy lies in moderation, which is something that Google has been repeating since late in 2005.
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