In the not so recent past you could simply hire/buy X number of backlinks and you could dominate your competition. The more links you had the higher you’d rank. Then search engines started to take into account the quality of the sites linking to your site. As Google’s algorithm gained sophistication, they were more easily, and with greater accuracy, the true nature and quality of each link. It call came to a head in 2012 with the Panda update from Google. Then all heck hit the proverbial fan!
With Google leading the way, all search engines are trying to provide you with the most relevant results to your queries possible (with Google Now on its way, they may be able to predict what you want before you even ask! Read about it here.). Links/Backlinks are a valuable tool to help search engines determine how trusted your website is and being able to determine the exact quality of the link coming from a specific site is of utmost importance to search engines such as Google. If a website is propped up through the use of poor quality links/backlinks, then that site is gaining an advantage over truly honest, valuable and relevant webpages/websites.
We all hate when someone scams the system and takes advantage of those who are legitimately trying to follow the rules and not looking for loopholes constantly. Google realizes this and is consistently taking steps to rectify this injustice. Basically, if your SEO strategy is to look for loopholes for a quick fix to achieving higher SERPs (search engine results page), you are living a timed existence. What we found out in 2012 through the Panda and Penguin updates is that Google takes no prisoners. One day you may rank at the top and the next you may be buried so deep you can’t be found. Trust me, the work that it takes to correct this is immense and costly!
To tell you the truth, I have zero desire to even take on a project such as this. If I go back a lot of years to my days of doing loans/mortgages and the collecting of them, my philosophy was, ‘a loan well closed is a loan half collected’. I take the same approach to Search Engine Optimization. SEO is an absolute must in order to be successful online and when it is done ethically and thoroughly from the outset, Search Engine Optimization will pay dividends for many, many years.
Okay, so we’ve established that in order for SEO to be effective, one must have quality backlinks. So what makes for a quality SEO link?
Search Engines take in to consideration where the link is coming from and where is it linked to. For the following example, let’s assume you are a business that is a window reseller – ABCWindowGuy.com, and has links coming in from…
-an overseas all-encompassing directory (a yellow pages type site) with a poor reputation and minimal/weak info – Very Poor SEO
-a domestic all-encompassing directory – Poor SEO
-a domestic window related directory – Good SEO
-one of the brands of windows you sell – Better SEO
-one of the brands of window you sell has a page dedicated to proper installation/installers of that brand is linked to a webpage on your site dedicated to the same thing – Best SEO
This is a very simplistic example. I could write an entire SEO blog entry on variables for this example which goes to prove yet again just how complex Search Engine Optimization is and how the approach you have to your SEO program/project can be extremely wide ranging.
Another aspect of proper SEO linking are the links within your site. Google never wants to find a dead end. They always want to have the option to leave a page to be sent to another relevant page. Good Search Engine Optimization takes into consideration not only where the links on your page are, but how many, what the text says (anchor text) and how often you repeat things such as ‘Click Here’. Up until mid 2012 you would get a benefit from using the keyword/keyword phrase that you were targeting in your anchor text. Since Google wants everything to be as natural as possible, they started penalizing websites that over-optimized their anchor text links. Another reminder that you have to be constantly on top of what is new and working with regards to Search Engine Optimization.
Linking/Backlinking for your SEO program/project is the most time consuming aspect of Search Engine Optimization but done incorrectly can cause the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve. The funny thing is, it may actually work for a while, but then when Google realizes this, they can bury your site which is bad for business!
Do you have any bad experiences in regards to SEO in Kitchener area or elsewhere in Ontario? Feel free to add a comment below about it.
Please read the other elements to keep in mind when taking on a Search Engine Optimization program/project by clicking on the links below.
SEO Program: Website Links/Backlinks – part 6