The world of SEO is constantly changing, and one thing that has been a consistent feature of the last few Google updates is link building.
For a long time, Google has placed an emphasis on link building, but far too many people took that emphasis the wrong way, focusing on building huge numbers of links, with no regard for quality.
With the recent updates, Google has quite clearly showed that it does not appreciate link farms and a scatter spray approach to link building.
If It’s Easy, Is It Really Worth It?
Easy links, such as general web directories with automated submissions, link farms, desolate social networking sites and cheap low-page rank auto blogs won’t get you quality human traffic. Now, Google has decided that those links aren’t worth much in terms of search engine ranking either. Google doesn’t want you to build easy links, it wants you to build quality links.
Focus on Content
For many years, top bloggers have repeated the mantra that content is king. This is something that any good SEO consultancy will also confirm. If you build good content, search engine ranking doesn’t even matter.
People will find your site through more traditional methods because the few people that read it will tweet about it, email interesting articles to their friends, and share your content in other ways.
If you consistently produce good content, then search engine ranking will follow because people will link to your posts. Those links are seen as “hard links”, and they’re the best kind. Google knows that it is difficult to build links, and they tend to reward those that get real clicks.
When people link to your content, they probably won’t link to your home page, they’ll link to one of the deeper pages on your site. Deep links are a powerful vote for your page, and will do a lot for your rankings.
There’s a good chance that each person that links to you will use slightly different anchor text, and that’s another positive thing in Google’s eyes. You can earn these links organically, and an SEO agency could help you find people to guest-blog with, and will work with webmasters for other mutually beneficial linking agreements.
You Can Do Too Much SEO
It may sound strange, but it is possible to do too much SEO. The Penguin update penalized a lot of sites that built huge numbers of links through Squidoo.com, article directories, web directories, and other semi automated easily obtained links.
The google panda algorithm update punished sites that had a huge amount of on-page SEO, marginal content, computer generated content, and pages that were not read by real users.
That’s not to say that SEO is not important, just that it shouldn’t be the primary focus of your web design. Many of the old SEO tricks used to be important, because during the early days of the Internet, search engines weren’t able to read certain fancy design elements.
Today, search engines can read almost any page, so there’s no reason to mess up your layout or your content to rank better.
If you design your content with your visitors in mind then your site will grow and thrive as a result of being useful and trusted.