There was a time when you could put white words on a white background to improve your rankings in search engines. There was a time you could simply past a link into a chat room or buy directory links to improve your web presence. But the algorithms used by Google and other search engines have become more sophisticated.
Does that mean SEO has become irrelevant to improving the rankings of your website? Nope, quite the contrary. However, SEO has become more sophisticated and requires a focus on relevance and authority. How do you create a modern SEO campaign that takes advantage of today’s sophisticated algorithms? Here are some tips.
With modern SEO, anchor texts and the sites they appear on matter more than ever. If you create an SEO campaign for a technology site, but it appears on a Luddite blog (is that a thing? Would be at least ironic) Google might find the context unsupportive and give less credence to the signals the campaign is creating.
Also, if the anchor text don’t match the content being linked to, Google will likely devalue the signals created by the link. However, if you create a link on a relevant site to the link with relevant anchor text, your link will thusly be rewarded.
Internal Links Supercharge
One additional thing should be noted here. Links from one page on your site to another page on your site are not as powerful as incoming links, but that doesn’t mean they have no value. Especially if the link is relevant, having links from your own site add additional credibility to the relevance of the subject matter and supercharge external links.
Quality As A Gatekeeper
One practice of old SEO was stuffing keywords. A page might simply have the keyword you want to rank for repeated over and over on a page. At the time, this made the page seem authoritative for that keyword and would drive the site up search engine results.
The algorithms are no longer fooled by such techniques and punish sites that try to employ them. Due to this, quality content has become an important aspect to SEO campaigns. When good content is written, which uses relevant and appropriate anchor texts and keywords, the SEO value becomes apparent.
Even though Google may penalize you if you are stuffing keywords, that doesn’t mean that keyword density is irrelevant. Just like a keyword out of nowhere may seem out of context and lack relevance, having the same keyword repeated within an article signals that it is the primary focus of the content and therefore extremely important.
Relevance is an important driver in the current algorithms. That means it is critical that sites create a solid word cloud of relevant terms that relate to what they are branding. For example, if you have an athletic shoe company, all terms that include shoes and athletics are obviously relevant. But so are sports, performance, health, fitness, as well as Olympics, NFL, NBA, etc.
What you don’t want to do is try to create signals from completely unrelated keywords and subjects. If your athletic shoes are reference on a site about cooking and the anchor text are: How to use mushrooms in broth, Google will likely flag this and your efforts could actually cause negative results. Remember, keywords can be included in your domain name as well to create relevancy, just don’t over do it.
Also consider what people are searching when creating your keywords. You don’t want to manufacture your words to simply highjack trends, if your keywords aren’t relevant to a subject, but knowing what people are searching for can help shape your use of terms. For example, if people are searching for Christmas gift ideas, your piece on birthday presents might be natural in your content, but miss out on the value of searched terms.
The bots used by search engines to seek out content place an added value on meta tags. For example, each one of the categories listed in this article are meta tags. They are headlines or subheadlines and are easier for the bots to discover.
They also create the relevance for the subsequent content. They work with the words in the piece to formulate content relevance. Make sure you use them, make them relevant and targeted and that they reflect the body of your work.
Because SEO is constantly changing, old methods to improve search engine results often become obsolete. That doesn’t mean that those methods aren’t replaced by new ones. It is irresponsible to suggest that SEO no longer matters. But it is not irrelevant to realize that it is always changing and evolving. If you want to create effective campaigns, you must keep up with these changes.