Connect with us

SEO

25+ SEO Words To Delete, Add, Or Reconsider In The Web3 Era

Published

on

25+ SEO Words To Delete, Add, Or Reconsider In The Web3 Era

🚨 Call the SEO word police.

These days in the SEO world, sometimes it’s more complicated than ever to tell what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to SEO terminology, phrases, and words.

As brands and marketers start to embrace Web3, the next generation of the internet terms come and go.

To ensure you are on top of it, we tapped the minds of the industry’s leading SEO and digital marketing professionals to dissect the over-used, underrated, and up-and-coming SEO words.

Just like styles change with the season, SEO changes with the algorithms and the modern times.

What might have been last season’s must-have buzzword just might be this year’s red flag waiting for a Google penalty.

Are we still talking about wearing black hats and white hats? Is this still a primarily male-dominated, exclusive industry? Are press releases still a tactic or a strategy?

Some SEO words have just run their course, classifying them as overused, overvalued, and in some cases, just plain over.

Next-Gen SEO World Of Words

As we enter the Web3 era, also known as the next generation of the internet, marketers and brands must adapt accordingly.

Besides Web3, brands of all sizes need to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion as a strategy, leadership, and culture checkpoint.

Including content and addressing accessibility, equality, equal pay, work from home, etc., are not just buzzwords. They are the new normal when it comes to keywords, culture, and innovation,

In Search Engine Journal’s recent interview with Rachel Heseltine, she shared her story of coming out as an SEO professional and thoughts on the impact of diversity in leadership and beyond.

“Public relations” and media coverage continue to positively impact SEO as the results unravel from the perks of links to the positive SEO bumps, thanks to brand mentions in the media.

Let’s also keep on the radar what SEO will look like in the metaverse as Google tiptoes into one of the biggest Google Trend buzzwords of 2021: the “metaverse.”

As we enter into a Web3 world, terms like decentralization, privacy, and blockchain will be trending up.

For the average person, SEO has been somewhat of a mystery of how it works, how long it takes, and who is the expert.

Using outdated terms and language can be a sure sign of incompetence, ignorance, or transformation and modernization.

When we asked leading SEO professionals which words to eliminate, the most overused SEO word is… SEO.

SEO: The Most Overused SEO Word Ever?

Here’s why you can’t be all things to all people.

SEO is not magic, and it’s not a catchall.

“The word SEO on its own isn’t bad,” said content marketing consultant and SEO expert Kelsey Jones. “But shady agencies are using vague terms to not be transparent with clients about the actual work they are doing on their website.”

“I have small business owners coming to me, asking for ‘SEO’ and assuming it will magically make them number one in search results simply because other SEO practitioners have said it’s possible within months. As professionals, it’s just not right to be taking advantage of people who have no idea what you’re talking about,” Jones added.

“I also think the term ‘content’ is slightly misleading and misunderstood because many business owners or C-suite executives don’t understand the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to create a piece of content from the initial idea to research, writing, and promotion.

They think anyone can create ‘content,’ but it takes a team of professionals who know how the entire process works to make it effective.”

Considering SEO’s birth dates back to 1997, making it just over 20 years old, there’s still a ton of growing up.

We’ve gone from birth to infancy to middle school to teen years and graduated from college.

SEO was quite simple in the early years.

Gaming the system was easy.

Manipulating search results was the game.

Now that SEO is in its mid-20s, things are starting to mature and get serious.

As SEO grows up, so does the vocabulary, terminology, and best practices.

In today’s post-pandemic, complicated, and fast-moving digital marketing world, change is a way of life. It’s true. If search marketers had to pick a specialty, it would be “expert in change.”

And so the SEO goes.

What worked last year is old news and what was amazing five years ago is ancient history in Google years. Unlike fashion, dated SEO terminology doesn’t make a comeback.

Optimizing to win results on Google’s page one search results needs an attitude of “adapt or die.”

To keep up with the changes, here are 26 SEO words industry professionals would like to delete, die, and say bye-bye.

DELETE: SEO Words That Just Need To Go Bye Bye

  • Best.
  • Cloaking.
  • Content is King.
  • Content Marketing.
  • DA Score.
  • Do ‘this,’ and you will succeed.
  • E-A-T.
  • Integrated Campaigns.
  • Hacking… anything.
  • Implied links via brand mentions.
  • Keyword Density.
  • Linkbait.
  • Link Building.
  • Link Juice.
  • Matt Cutts.
  • Meta Description.
  • Outbound Marketing.
  • PageRank.
  • Ranking Factor.
  • RankBrain.
  • SEO.
  • SEO is Dead.
  • Storytelling.
  • The “Hats” Black Hat, White Hat.
  • Top.
  • Testing.
  • Toxic Links.

SEO Words To Add

  • Accessibility.
  • Artificial Intelligence.
  • Authentic.
  • Chief Digital Officer.
  • Conversations.
  • Customer anything.
  • Danny Sullivan.
  • Decentralized.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
  • Driverless Vehicle Optimization Expert.
  • Featured Snippets.
  • Google Business Profile.
  • Holistic SEO.
  • Metaverse.
  • Mobile.
  • Privacy.
  • Transparency.
  • Web3.
  • Women SEO Experts.

Who Thinks What & Why

The SEO words you should delete and the SEO words to add in 2022 and beyond.


Kelsey Jones, SEO Content Leader  

Let’s review the word “content.”

The term ‘content’ is slightly misleading and misunderstood because many business owners or C-suite executives don’t understand the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to create a piece of content, from the initial idea to research, writing, and promotion. They think anyone can create “content,” but it takes a team of professionals who know how the entire process works to make it effective.


Heather Lloyd-Martin, SEO Copywriting Expert and Trainer Heather Lloyd SEO

My pet peeve term that needs to go?

Keyword density.

At least once a week, I receive an email from an SEO writer complaining that their client wants an X% keyword density – and it’s messing up the content flow.

Yes, back in the day (over 20 years ago), we needed a 5.5% key phrase density to position in Alta Vista.

Today, Google has said that keyword density isn’t a ranking factor.

Randomly shoving keywords into content won’t help positions. Yet, I still see companies (and some SEO tools) pushing for a specific keyword density because they think that’s what Google wants.


Victoria Edwards, Online Marketing and Social Media ManagerVictoria Edwards

Most Overused SEO Words:

SEO Is Dead

This really annoys me, since it clearly isn’t. Who only knows how our business will change with regard to this Net Neutrality situation, but I am sure we will just find another way to give our consumers the content they’re looking for.

Outbound Marketing

This one gets me and feels a bit overused. Maybe the phrase digital marketing should take it over.

Yes, outbound is different from inbound, but we need to get on with it and try something else.

Content Is King

This is my absolute favorite overused phrase. I agree content can be king. You must factor in that if your site isn’t optimized, the content isn’t strong, and you don’t have a decent budget to promote it… then it’s not king. People just won’t see the content.


Carrie Hill, Local SEO AnalystCarrie Hill SEO

‘Must-Have’ SEO Word To Add:

Testing

I’d add the word “TESTING” in really big bold letters. I think many SEOs talk a big game around testing, but very few implement, test, tweak and learn with measured scientific testing.

What produced results and what did not? How can we better design our test? How can we improve our results?

In my opinion, the number one  rule of testing is “be prepared to be wrong.”

I think there’s a lot of ego in the SEO industry and many can’t handle being wrong about a theory or tactic they’ve been using (and heavily promoting) for YEARS.

It’s hard to eat crow – but if it makes my clients more money – I’ll add ketchup and dig in.


Lily Ray, SEO Expert by Day, DJ by Night LIL Ray SEO DJ

Hit Delete

  • Toxic Links
  • DA (Domain Authority) Score
  • E-A-T

Here’s why…

Toxic Links

SEO tools created the notion of “toxic links” and now the industry has gone overboard with assigning relevance and importance to this score.

However, the same SEO tools that measure “toxic links” are mostly just looking at spammy links, which are entirely ignored by Google.

Every website has spammy links, and Google knows this. The real “toxic” links are links that violate Google’s guidelines, which are generally difficult for SEO tools to identify.

This idea of a “toxicity score” is misleading for SEOs and website owners alike.

DA Score

Another metric created by SEO tools has been blown completely out of proportion.

While Google likely uses some version of a domain-wide evaluation of authoritativeness, we don’t have access to those metrics and DA is certainly not it.

E-A-T Score / Algorithm / Algorithm Update

E-A-T is extremely important, but using terms like “E-A-T score,” “the E-A-T algorithm,” or “the E-A-T algorithm update” greatly oversimplifies what E-A-T actually does and how it works. The term E-A-T is likely used across all of Google’s organic algorithms, but it can’t be boiled down to a simple score in the same way something like Core Web Vitals can be.

Also, no single algorithm update focused only on E-A-T, although it has played an increasingly important role in algorithm updates of recent years.


Rebecca Murtagh, Author of Million Dollar WebsitesRebecca Murtagh

Most Overused SEO Words:

“Best” And “Top”

I have probably even been guilty of using these words in the past.

However, in the era of brand democratization where customers are part of the brand story, search results favor brands when customers are the ones saying they are the best or top in what they offer.

So, let customers and audiences have their say!

SEO Words Trending In:

It is time to embrace the softer side of SEO!

Customers become emotionally attached and fiercely loyal to brands they love. So, words will vary by brand and marketplace.

To attract the most qualified visitors to a website from search engine results, brands can leverage two key elements in content and snippets in the hope they will appear in SERPs:

For example, Apple’s snippet reads: Discover the innovative world of Apple and shop…

Customers are loyal to the Apple brand because they are connected and continually anticipate the brand’s innovation.

Use of brand differentiators calls to action (CTA) like “discover” and “shop” promote action (the click!).

When SEO becomes more human, everyone wins!


Joy Hawkins, Google My Business Expert Joy Hawkins SEO

New Term To Be Added:

Google Business Profile

Since Google rebranded Google My Business recently, we should add the new name: Google Business Profile.

The frustrating thing with this rebrand is that it sounds very dumb when you abbreviate it to GBP as Google thinks you’re talking about the British pound.

It will take a lot of practice to get used to saying Google Business Profile instead of GMB.

I agree with “Link Juice” for words that should be removed. I can’t stand how this word sounds and usually opt for something like “link power” or “link equity” instead.


Melissa Fach, SEO Consultant, Community Manager, and EditorMelissa Fach

Most Overused SEO Words:

“Do ‘this,’ and you will succeed.”

Everyone writing and giving advice need to stop saying anything like this.

There are too many variables to consider when it comes to SEO to guarantee someone that they will be successful if they copy your strategy.

As an editor, I always remove these false promises from my articles.


Virginia Nussey, Director of Marketing at MobileMonkey Virginia Nussey

Most Overused SEO Words:

Link Building

Can this concept please die? You’re either:

  • Making amazing content and promoting it with ads and PR.
  • You’re spamming.

SEO Words Trending In:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

I’ve been thinking about ways to adapt to Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies. Google’s RankBrain has had a significant impact on SEO.

For one thing, writers and SEOs need better tools for identifying long-tail and voice search queries.

We can use Google suggestions and “People also ask” along with FAQs from Answer the Public – but what else are we to do in response to AI’s impact on search and searcher behavior? That’s been a big focus for me and will be in the future.


Eric Enge, SEO Expert, Author, and President of Pilot Holding eric enge

Almost Overused SEO Words:

Meta Description

With all the work that Google is putting into snippet generation, it looks like the utility of meta descriptions is going to be 100% gone soon, if it isn’t already.

For now, I would still optimize your meta description, but I suspect in a year or two, we’ll get confirmation that it doesn’t matter anymore.

I have no confirmation, but I am speculating given how much work Google is putting into snippet extraction, I believe the need for meta descriptions will disappear.

SEO Words Trending In:

Featured Snippets

OK, I know people are talking about these a ton already, but I don’t think that everyone truly understands just how important this is.

The real featured snippets story will be told once more than half of all search queries are by voice, and most people take their one answer from a verbal SERP – a SERP that has only one answer, and that answer will be taken from what we call a featured snippet today.

Conversations

Too many people focus solely on old-fashioned ranking signals, like content and links. These do remain important, but it’s also essential to take a broader view of how your brand is perceived online.

Google has told us repeatedly that they try to view our sites the way users do. Well, what does that mean really?

If users want to see brand results for a given query, that’s what Google will return. If users want to see a marketplace, Google will return that in the SERPs. If users want to see review sites, Google will return that.

If you’re not a particularly good result for a given query, then they won’t return you.

How does Google figure that out? Not simply by analyzing your content, because you can have pages that speak to a given query but still not be the company that users want to interact with related to that query.

You can go get links to your page that say you are authoritative for that query, but the presence of those links doesn’t mean that users want you either.

Try this: Engage in branding and advertising campaigns, or actively engage in, or create, conversations across the web about your brand related to the query.

That’s a clear sign that consumers consider you relevant to the query.


Joe Laratro, SEO/PPC Expert and President, Tandem Online Marketing SolutionsJoe Laratro

‘Unprecedented’ needs to go.

We should delete “unprecedented” from our SEO vocabulary today. I say that as it relates to Covid, March 2020 – March 2022. Some industries thrived online during the pandemic.

Examples I hear…

  • Traffic was unprecedented. 
  • Conversion rates were unprecedented. 
  • Growth was unprecedented. 

Those numbers are just not sustainable anymore.

Today’s performance has to be gauged against the years before The Great Covid Migration (the mass of people relocating that boosted every industry around home services).

Sustaining last year’s numbers maybe this year’s success.

The challenge for marketers right now is to make sure the KPIs are realistic.

Add these words to the current SEO conversation:

Inflation and Cost of Quality 

Inflation and the cost of quality need to be added to the discussions about SEO.

The past two years have changed the landscape of search engine marketing professionals more than we have seen since the Google Penguin Update.

Work-from-home scenarios opened up the local workforces to international companies.

The value of a good search engine optimization specialist increased because of their scarcity and availability of positions. High quality has always cost more. It costs more in 2022.

Agencies need to make their service pricing reflect their increasing costs. Client-side marketers cost more, so those companies have to pass those costs on to their goods as well.

Most Overused SEO Word:

Storytelling

Storytelling was one of the big buzz terms of 2017. I think it should stay in 2017.

While there is huge value in storytelling, it is just another form of generating high-value engaging content.

SEO Words Trending In:

Holistic SEO

This is an old concept but has a broader place in today’s optimization world than maybe ever before.

Advancements in the SERPs with incredibly relevant and customized results make specific keyword targeting very difficult.

Having a broad approach to SEO that considers all facets of current best practices and technology (amazing user experience, speed, mobile-first) should be the ongoing commitment.


Marty Weintraub, Internet Marketing Expert and Founder of aimClear Marty Weintraub SEO

Most Overused SEO Words:

Linkbait, PageRank, Cloaking, Matt Cutts

These are just seriously overplayed.

Weintraub provided a Sysomos MAP word cloud for public Twitter organic tweets showing semantic usage stats. Weintraub noted this is what words ALSO appear in Tweets about SEO.

Weintraub provided a Sysomos MAP word cloud for public Twitter organic tweets shows semantic usage stats.

Conclusion

Don’t get caught using outdated words and terms.

As SEO enters its third decade, new generations are redefining the search marketing industry. Innovation, technology, and culture impact new behaviors.

It’s up to all marketing professionals to stay educated and aware of trends and algorithms to attract the best talent, get the best results and stay up-to-date on best practices and Google updates.

What SEO words can you add to this story?

More SEO Resources:


Featured Image: Vasina Natalia/Shutterstock

In-Post Photo #1: Marty Weintraub. Used with permission.



Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

SEO

How To Build A Diverse & Healthy Link Profile

Published

on

By

How To Build A Diverse & Healthy Link Profile

Search is evolving at an incredible pace and new features, formats, and even new search engines are popping up within the space.

Google’s algorithm still prioritizes backlinks when ranking websites. If you want your website to be visible in search results, you must account for backlinks and your backlink profile.

A healthy backlink profile requires a diverse backlink profile.

In this guide, we’ll examine how to build and maintain a diverse backlink profile that powers your website’s search performance.

What Does A Healthy Backlink Profile Look Like?

As Google states in its guidelines, it primarily crawls pages through links from other pages linked to your pages, acquired through promotion and naturally over time.

In practice, a healthy backlink profile can be divided into three main areas: the distribution of link types, the mix of anchor text, and the ratio of followed to nofollowed links.

Let’s look at these areas and how they should look within a healthy backlink profile.

Distribution Of Link Types

One aspect of your backlink profile that needs to be diversified is link types.

It looks unnatural to Google to have predominantly one kind of link in your profile, and it also indicates that you’re not diversifying your content strategy enough.

Some of the various link types you should see in your backlink profile include:

  • Anchor text links.
  • Image links.
  • Redirect links.
  • Canonical links.

Here is an example of the breakdown of link types at my company, Whatfix (via Semrush):

Screenshot from Semrush, May 2024

Most links should be anchor text links and image links, as these are the most common ways to link on the web, but you should see some of the other types of links as they are picked up naturally over time.

Mix Of Anchor Text

Next, ensure your backlink profile has an appropriate anchor text variance.

Again, if you overoptimize for a specific type of anchor text, it will appear suspicious to search engines like Google and could have negative repercussions.

Here are the various types of anchor text you might find in your backlink profile:

  • Branded anchor text – Anchor text that is your brand name or includes your brand name.
  • Empty – Links that have no anchor text.
  • Naked URLs – Anchor text that is a URL (e.g., www.website.com).
  • Exact match keyword-rich anchor text – Anchor text that exactly matches the keyword the linked page targets (e.g., blue shoes).
  • Partial match keyword-rich anchor text – Anchor text that partially or closely matches the keyword the linked page targets (e.g., “comfortable blue footwear options”).
  • Generic anchor text – Anchor text such as “this website” or “here.”

To maintain a healthy backlink profile, aim for a mix of anchor text within a similar range to this:

  • Branded anchor text – 35-40%.
  • Partial match keyword-rich anchor text – 15-20%.
  • Generic anchor text -10-15%.
  • Exact match keyword-rich anchor text – 5-10%.
  • Naked URLs – 5-10%.
  • Empty – 3-5%.

This distribution of anchor text represents a natural mix of differing anchor texts. It is common for the majority of anchors to be branded or partially branded because most sites that link to your site will default to your brand name when linking. It also makes sense that the following most common anchors would be partial-match keywords or generic anchor text because these are natural choices within the context of a web page.

Exact-match anchor text is rare because it only happens when you are the best resource for a specific term, and the site owner knows your page exists.

Ratio Of Followed Vs. Nofollowed Backlinks

Lastly, you should monitor the ratio of followed vs. nofollowed links pointing to your website.

If you need a refresher on what nofollowed backlinks are or why someone might apply the nofollow tag to a link pointing to your site, check out Google’s guide on how to qualify outbound links to Google.

Nofollow attributes should only be applied to paid links or links pointing to a site the linking site doesn’t trust.

While it is not uncommon or suspicious to have some nofollow links (people misunderstand the purpose of the nofollow attribute all the time), a healthy backlink profile will have far more followed links.

You should aim for a ratio of 80%:20% or 70%:30% in favor of followed links. For example, here is what the followed vs. nofollowed ratio looks like for my company’s backlink profile (according to Ahrefs):

Referring domainsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2024

You may see links with other rel attributes, such as UGC or Sponsored.

The “UGC” attribute tags links from user-generated content, while the “Sponsored” attribute tags links from sponsored or paid sources. These attributes are slightly different than the nofollow tag, but they essentially work the same way, letting Google know these links aren’t trusted or endorsed by the linking site. You can simply group these links in with nofollowed links when calculating your ratio.

Importance Of Diversifying Your Backlink Profile

So why is it important to diversify your backlink profile anyway? Well, there are three main reasons you should consider:

  • Avoiding overoptimization.
  • Diversifying traffic sources.
  • And finding new audiences.

Let’s dive into each of these.

Avoiding Overoptimization

First and foremost, diversifying your backlink profile is the best way to protect yourself from overoptimization and the damaging penalties that can come with it.

As SEO pros, our job is to optimize websites to improve performance, but overoptimizing in any facet of our strategy – backlinks, keywords, structure, etc. – can result in penalties that limit visibility within search results.

In the previous section, we covered the elements of a healthy backlink profile. If you stray too far from that model, your site might look suspicious to search engines like Google and you could be handed a manual or algorithmic penalty, suppressing your rankings in search.

Considering how regularly Google updates its search algorithm these days (and how little information surrounds those updates), you could see your performance tank and have no idea why.

This is why it’s so important to keep a watchful eye on your backlink profile and how it’s shaping up.

Diversifying Traffic Sources

Another reason to cultivate a diverse backlink profile is to ensure you’re diversifying your traffic sources.

Google penalties come swiftly and can often be a surprise. If you have all your eggs in that basket when it comes to traffic, your site will suffer badly and might need help to recover.

However, diversifying your traffic sources (search, social, email, etc.) will mitigate risk – similar to a stock portfolio – as you’ll have other traffic sources to provide a steady flow of visitors if another source suddenly dips.

Part of building a diverse backlink profile is acquiring a diverse set of backlinks and backlink types, and this strategy will also help you find differing and varied sources of traffic.

Finding New Audiences

Finally, building a diverse backlink profile is essential, as doing so will also help you discover new audiences.

If you acquire links from the same handful of websites and platforms, you will need help expanding your audience and building awareness for your website.

While it’s important to acquire links from sites that cater to your existing audience, you should also explore ways to build links that can tap into new audiences. The best way to do this is by casting a wide net with various link acquisition tactics and strategies.

A diverse backlink profile indicates a varied approach to SEO and marketing that will help bring new visitors and awareness to your site.

Building A Diverse Backlink Profile

So that you know what a healthy backlink profile looks like and why it’s important to diversify, how do you build diversity into your site’s backlink profile?

This comes down to your link acquisition strategy and the types of backlinks you actively pursue. To guide your strategy, let’s break link building into three main categories:

  • Foundational links.
  • Content promotion.
  • Community involvement.

Here’s how to approach each area.

Foundational Links

Foundational links represent those links that your website simply should have. These are opportunities where a backlink would exist if all sites were known to all site owners.

Some examples of foundational links include:

  • Mentions – Websites that mention your brand in some way (brand name, product, employees, proprietary data, etc.) on their website but don’t link.
  • Partners – Websites that belong to real-world partners or companies you connect with offline and should also connect (link) with online.
  • Associations or groups – Websites for offline associations or groups you belong to where your site should be listed with a link.
  • Sponsorships – Any events or organizations your company sponsors might have websites that could (and should) link to your site.
  • Sites that link to competitors – If a website is linking to a competitor, there is a strong chance it would make sense for them to link to your site as well.

These link opportunities should set the foundation for your link acquisition efforts.

As the baseline for your link building strategy, you should start by exhausting these opportunities first to ensure you’re not missing highly relevant links to bolster your backlink profile.

Content Promotion

Next, consider content promotion as a strategy for building a healthy, diverse backlink profile.

Content promotion is much more proactive than the foundational link acquisition mentioned above. You must manifest the opportunity by creating link-worthy content rather than simply capitalizing on an existing opportunity.

Some examples of content promotion for links are:

  • Digital PR – Digital PR campaigns have numerous benefits and goals beyond link acquisition, but backlinks should be a primary KPI.
  • Original research – Similar to digital PR, original research should focus on providing valuable data to your audience. Still, you should also make sure any citations or references to your research are correctly linked.
  • Guest content – Whether regular columns or one-off contributions, providing guest content to websites is still a viable link acquisition strategy – when done right. The best way to gauge your guest content strategy is to ask yourself if you would still write the content for a site without guaranteeing a backlink, knowing you’ll still build authority and get your message in front of a new audience.
  • Original imagery – Along with research and data, if your company creates original imagery that offers unique value, you should promote those images and ask for citation links.

Content promotion is a viable avenue for building a healthy backlink profile as long as the content you’re promoting is worthy of links.

Community Involvement

Community involvement is the final piece of your link acquisition puzzle when building a diverse backlink profile.

After pursuing all foundational opportunities and manually promoting your content, you should ensure your brand is active and represented in all the spaces and communities where your audience engages.

In terms of backlinks, this could mean:

  • Wikipedia links – Wikipedia gets over 4 billion monthly visits, so backlinks here can bring significant referral traffic to your site. However, acquiring these links is difficult as these pages are moderated closely, and your site will only be linked if it is legitimately a top resource on the web.
  • Forums (Reddit, Quora, etc.) – Another great place to get backlinks that drive referral traffic is forums like Reddit and Quora. Again, these forums are strictly moderated, and earning link placements on these sites requires a page that delivers significant and unique value to a specific audience.
  • Social platforms – Social media platforms and groups represent communities where your brand should be active and engaged. While these strategies are likely handled by other teams outside SEO and focus on different metrics, you should still be intentional about converting these interactions into links when or where possible.
  • Offline events – While it may seem counterintuitive to think of offline events as a potential source for link acquisition, legitimate link opportunities exist here. After all, most businesses, brands, and people you interact with at these events also have websites, and networking can easily translate to online connections in the form of links.

While most of the link opportunities listed above will have the nofollow link attribute due to the nature of the sites associated with them, they are still valuable additions to your backlink profile as these are powerful, trusted domains.

These links help diversify your traffic sources by bringing substantial referral traffic, and that traffic is highly qualified as these communities share your audience.

How To Avoid Developing A Toxic Backlink Profile

Now that you’re familiar with the link building strategies that can help you cultivate a healthy, diverse backlink profile, let’s discuss what you should avoid.

As mentioned before, if you overoptimize one strategy or link, it can seem suspicious to search engines and cause your site to receive a penalty. So, how do you avoid filling your backlink profile with toxic links?

Remember The “Golden Rule” Of Link Building

One simple way to guide your link acquisition strategy and avoid running afoul of search engines like Google is to follow one “golden rule.”

That rule is to ask yourself: If search engines like Google didn’t exist, and the only way people could navigate the web was through backlinks, would you want your site to have a link on the prospective website?

Thinking this way strips away all the tactical, SEO-focused portions of the equation and only leaves the human elements of linking where two sites are linked because it makes sense and makes the web easier to navigate.

Avoid Private Blog Networks (PBNs)

Another good rule is to avoid looping your site into private blog networks (PBNs). Of course, it’s not always obvious or easy to spot a PBN.

However, there are some common traits or red flags you can look for, such as:

  • The person offering you a link placement mentions they have a list of domains they can share.
  • The prospective linking site has little to no traffic and doesn’t appear to have human engagement (blog comments, social media followers, blog views, etc.).
  • The website features thin content and little investment into user experience (UX) and design.
  • The website covers generic topics and categories, catering to any and all audiences.
  • Pages on the site feature numerous external links but only some internal links.
  • The prospective domain’s backlink profile features overoptimization in any of the previously discussed forms (high-density of exact match anchor text, abnormal ratio of nofollowed links, only one or two link types, etc.).

Again, diversification – in both tactics and strategies – is crucial to building a healthy backlink profile, but steering clear of obvious PBNs and remembering the ‘golden rule’ of link building will go a long way toward keeping your profile free from toxicity.

Evaluating Your Backlink Profile

As you work diligently to build and maintain a diverse, healthy backlink profile, you should also carve out time to evaluate it regularly from a more analytical perspective.

There are two main ways to evaluate the merit of your backlinks: leverage tools to analyze backlinks and compare your backlink profile to the greater competitive landscape.

Leverage Tools To Analyze Backlink Profile

There are a variety of third-party tools you can use to analyze your backlink profile.

These tools can provide helpful insights, such as the total number of backlinks and referring domains. You can use these tools to analyze your full profile, broken down by:

  • Followed vs. nofollowed.
  • Authority metrics (Domain Rating, Domain Authority, Authority Score, etc.).
  • Backlink types.
  • Location or country.
  • Anchor text.
  • Top-level domain types.
  • And more.

You can also use these tools to track new incoming backlinks, as well as lost backlinks, to help you better understand how your backlink profile is growing.

Some of the best tools for analyzing your backlink profile are:

Many of these tools also have features that estimate how toxic or suspicious your profile might look to search engines, which can help you detect potential issues early.

Compare Your Backlink Profile To The Competitive Landscape

Lastly, you should compare your overall backlink profile to those of your competitors and those competing with your site in the search results.

Again, the previously mentioned tools can help with this analysis – as far as providing you with the raw numbers – but the key areas you should compare are:

  • Total number of backlinks.
  • Total number of referring domains.
  • Breakdown of authority metrics of links (Domain Rating, Domain Authority, Authority Score, etc.).
  • Authority metrics of competing domains.
  • Link growth over the last two years.

Comparing your backlink profile to others within your competitive landscape will help you assess where your domain currently stands and provide insight into how far you must go if you’re lagging behind competitors.

It’s worth noting that it’s not as simple as whoever has the most backlinks will perform the best in search.

These numbers are typically solid indicators of how search engines gauge the authority of your competitors’ domains, and you’ll likely find a correlation between strong backlink profiles and strong search performance.

Approach Link Building With A User-First Mindset

The search landscape continues to evolve at a breakneck pace and we could see dramatic shifts in how people search within the next five years (or sooner).

However, at this time, search engines like Google still rely on backlinks as part of their ranking algorithms, and you need to cultivate a strong backlink profile to be visible in search.

Furthermore, if you follow the advice in this article as you build out your profile, you’ll acquire backlinks that benefit your site regardless of search algorithms, futureproofing your traffic sources.

Approach link acquisition like you would any other marketing endeavor – with a customer-first mindset – and over time, you’ll naturally build a healthy, diverse backlink profile.

More resources: 


Featured Image: Sammby/Shutterstock

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

Google On Traffic Diversity As A Ranking Factor

Published

on

By

Google answers the question of whether traffic diversity is a ranking factor for SEO

Google’s SearchLiaison tweeted encouragement to diversify traffic sources, being clear about the reason he was recommending it. Days later, someone followed up to ask if traffic diversity is a ranking factor, prompting SearchLiaison to reiterate that it is not.

What Was Said

The question of whether diversity of traffic was a ranking factor was elicited from a previous tweet in a discussion about whether a site owner should be focusing on off-site promotion.

Here’s the question from the original discussion that was tweeted:

“Can you please tell me if I’m doing right by focusing on my site and content – writing new articles to be found through search – or if I should be focusing on some off-site effort related to building a readership? It’s frustrating to see traffic go down the more effort I put in.”

SearchLiaison split the question into component parts and answered each one. When it came to the part about off-site promotion, SearchLiaison (who is Danny Sullivan), shared from his decades of experience as a journalist and publisher covering technology and search marketing.

I’m going to break down his answer so that it’s clearer what he meant

This is the part from the tweet that talks about off-site activities:

“As to the off-site effort question, I think from what I know from before I worked at Google Search, as well as my time being part of the search ranking team, is that one of the ways to be successful with Google Search is to think beyond it.”

What he is saying here is simple, don’t limit your thinking about what to do with your site to thinking about how to make it appeal to Google.

He next explains that sites that rank tend to be sites that are created to appeal to people.

SearchLiaison continued:

“Great sites with content that people like receive traffic in many ways. People go to them directly. They come via email referrals. They arrive via links from other sites. They get social media mentions.”

What he’s saying there is that you’ll know that you’re appealing to people if people are discussing your site in social media, if people are referring the site in social media and if other sites are citing it with links.

Other ways to know that a site is doing well is when when people engage in the comments section, send emails asking follow up questions, and send emails of thanks and share anecdotes of their success or satisfaction with a product or advice.

Consider this, fast fashion site Shein at one point didn’t rank for their chosen keyword phrases, I know because I checked out of curiosity. But they were at the time virally popular and making huge amounts of sales by gamifying site interaction and engagement, propelling them to become a global brand. A similar strategy propelled Zappos when they pioneered no-questions asked returns and cheerful customer service.

SearchLiaison continued:

“It just means you’re likely building a normal site in the sense that it’s not just intended for Google but instead for people. And that’s what our ranking systems are trying to reward, good content made for people.”

SearchLiaison explicitly said that building sites with diversified content is not a ranking factor.

He added this caveat to his tweet:

“This doesn’t mean you should get a bunch of social mentions, or a bunch of email mentions because these will somehow magically rank you better in Google (they don’t, from how I know things).”

Despite The Caveat…

A journalist tweeted this:

“Earlier this week, @searchliaison told people to diversify their traffic. Naturally, people started questioning whether that meant diversity of traffic was a ranking factor.

So, I asked @iPullRank what he thought.”

SearchLiaison of course answered that he explicitly said it’s not a ranking factor and linked to his original tweet that I quoted above.

He tweeted:

“I mean that’s not exactly what I myself said, but rather repeat all that I’ll just add the link to what I did say:”

The journalist responded:

“I would say this is calling for publishers to diversify their traffic since you’re saying the great sites do it. It’s the right advice to give.”

And SearchLiaison answered:

“It’s the part of “does it matter for rankings” that I was making clear wasn’t what I myself said. Yes, I think that’s a generally good thing, but it’s not the only thing or the magic thing.”

Not Everything Is About Ranking Factors

There is a longstanding practice by some SEOs to parse everything that Google publishes for clues to how Google’s algorithm works. This happened with the Search Quality Raters guidelines. Google is unintentionally complicit because it’s their policy to (in general) not confirm whether or not something is a ranking factor.

This habit of searching for “ranking factors” leads to misinformation. It takes more acuity to read research papers and patents to gain a general understanding of how information retrieval works but it’s more work to try to understand something than skimming a PDF for ranking papers.

The worst approach to understanding search is to invent hypotheses about how Google works and then pore through a document to confirm those guesses (and falling into the confirmation bias trap).

In the end, it may be more helpful to back off of exclusively optimizing for Google and focus at least equally as much in optimizing for people (which includes optimizing for traffic). I know it works because I’ve been doing it for years.

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Asier Romero

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

The Complete Guide to Google My Business for Local SEO

Published

on

The Complete Guide to Google My Business

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that business owners can use to manage their online presence across Google Search and Google Maps.

This profile also puts out important business details, such as address, phone number, and operating hours, making it easily accessible to potential customers. 

Google My Business profile shown on Google MapsGoogle My Business profile shown on Google Maps

When you click on a business listing in the search results it will open a detailed sidebar on the right side of the screen, providing comprehensive information about the business. 

This includes popular times, which show when the business is busiest, a Q&A section where potential users can ask questions and receive responses from the business or other customers, and a photos and videos section that showcases products and services. Customer reviews and ratings are also displayed, which are crucial for building trust and credibility.

Business details on Google My Business profileBusiness details on Google My Business profile

Using Google My Business for Local SEO

Having an optimized Google Business Profile ensures that your business is visible, searchable, and can attract potential customers who are looking for your products and services.

  • Increased reliance on online discovery: More consumers are going online to search and find local businesses, making it crucial to have a GMB listing.
  • Be where your customers are searching: GMB ensures your business information is accurate and visible on Google Search and Maps, helping you stay competitive.
  • Connect with customers digitally: GMB allows customers to connect with your business through various channels, including messaging and reviews.
  • Build your online reputation: GMB makes it easy for customers to leave reviews, which can improve your credibility and trustworthiness.
  • Location targeting: GMB enables location-based targeting, showing your ads to people searching for businesses in your exact location.
  • Measurable results: GMB provides actionable analytics, allowing you to track your performance and optimize your listing.

How to Set Up Google My Business

If you already have a profile and need help claiming, verifying, and/or optimizing it, skip to the next sections.

If you’re creating a new Google My Business profile, here’s a step-by-step guide:

Access or Create your Google AccountAccess or Create your Google Account

Step 1: Access or Create your Google Account:

If you don’t already have a Google account, follow these steps to create one:

  • Visit the Google Account Sign-up Page: Go to the Google Account sign-up page and click on “Create an account.”
  • Enter Your Information: Fill in the required fields, including your name, email address, and password.
  • Verify Your Account: Google will send a verification email to your email address. Click on the link in the email to confirm your account.

Step 2:  Access Google My Business

Business name on Google My BusinessBusiness name on Google My Business

Step 3: Enter Your Business Name and Category

  • Type in your exact business name. Google will suggest existing businesses as you type
  • If your business is not listed, fully type out the name as it appears
  • Search for and select your primary business category

Adding business address to Google My Business profileAdding business address to Google My Business profile

Step 4: Provide Your Business Address

  • If you have a physical location where customers can visit, select “Yes” and enter your address.
  • If you are a service area business without a physical location, select “No” and enter your service area.

Adding contact information to Google My Business profileAdding contact information to Google My Business profile

Step 5: Add Your Contact Information

  • Enter your business phone number and website URL
  • You can also create a free website based on your GMB information

Complete Your ProfileComplete Your Profile

Step 6: Complete Your Profile

To complete your profile, add the following details:

  • Hours of Operation: Enter your business’s operating hours to help customers plan their visits.
  • Services: List the services your business offers to help customers understand what you do.
  • Description: Write a detailed description of your business to help customers understand your offerings.

Now that you know how to set up your Google My Business account, all that’s left is to verify it. 

Verification is essential for you to manage and update business information whenever you need to, and for Google to show your business profile to the right users and for the right search queries. 

If you are someone who wants to claim their business or is currently on the last step of setting up their GMB, this guide will walk you through the verification process to solidify your business’ online credibility and visibility.

How to Verify Google My Business

There are several ways you can verify your business, including:

  • Postcard Verification: Google will send a postcard to your business address with a verification code. Enter the code on your GMB dashboard to verify.
  • Phone Verification: Google will call your business phone number and provide a verification code. Enter the code on your GMB dashboard to verify.
  • Email Verification: If you have a business email address, you can use it to verify your listing.
  • Instant Verification: If you have a Google Analytics account linked to your business, you can use instant verification.

How to Claim & Verify an Existing Google My Business Profile

If your business has an existing Google My Business profile, and you want to claim it, then follow these steps:

Sign in to Google AccountSign in to Google Account

Step 1: Sign in to Google My Business

Access Google My Business: Go to the Google My Business website and sign in with your Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, create one by following the sign-up process.

Search for Your BusinessSearch for Your Business

Step 2: Search for Your Business

Enter your business name in the search bar to find your listing. If your business is already listed, you will see it in the search results.

Request access to existing Google My Business accountRequest access to existing Google My Business account

Step 3: Claim Your Listing

If your business is not already claimed, you will see a “Claim this business” button. Click on this button to start the claiming process.

Editing business information on Google My BusinessEditing business information on Google My Business

Step 4: Complete Your Profile

Once your listing is verified, you can complete your profile by adding essential business information such as:

  • Business Name: Ensure it matches your business name.
  • Address: Enter your business address accurately.
  • Phone Number: Enter your business phone number.
  • Hours of Operation: Specify your business hours.
  • Categories: Choose relevant categories that describe your business.
  • Description: Write a brief description of your business.

Step 5: Manage Your Listing

Regularly check and update your listing to ensure it remains accurate and up-to-date. Respond to customer reviews and use the insights provided by Google Analytics to improve your business.

Unverified Google My Business profileUnverified Google My Business profile

Step 6: Verification 

Verify your business through postcard, email, or phone numbers as stated above. 

Now that you have successfully set up and verified your Google My Business listing, it’s time to optimize it for maximum visibility and effectiveness. By doing this, you can improve your local search rankings, increase customer engagement, and drive more conversions.

How to Optimize Google My Business

Here are the tips that I usually do when I’m optimizing my GMB account: 

    1. Complete Your Profile: Start by ensuring every section applicable to your business is filled out with accurate and up-to-date information. Use your real business name without keyword stuffing to avoid suspension. Ensure your address and phone number are consistent with those on your website and other online directories, and add a link to your website and social media accounts.
    2. Optimize for Keywords: Integrate relevant keywords into your business description, services, and posts. However, avoid stuffing your GMB profile with keywords, as this can appear spammy and reduce readability.
    3. Add Backlinks: Encourage local websites, blogs, and business directories to link to your GMB profile. 
  1. Select Appropriate Categories: Choose the most relevant primary category for your business to help Google understand what your business is about. Additionally, add secondary categories that accurately describe your business’s offerings to capture more relevant search traffic.
  2. Encourage and Manage Reviews: Ask satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on your profile, as reviews significantly influence potential customers. Respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, in a professional and timely manner. Addressing negative feedback shows that you value customer opinions and are willing to improve.
  3. Add High-Quality Photos and Videos: Use high-quality images for your profile and cover photos that represent your business well. Upload additional photos of your products, services, team, and premises. Adding short, engaging videos can give potential customers a virtual tour or highlight key services, enhancing their interest.

By following this comprehensive guide, you have successfully set up, verified, and optimized your GMB profile. Remember to continuously maintain and update your profile to ensure maximum impact and success.

Key Takeaway: 

With more and more people turning to Google for all their needs, creating, verifying, and optimizing your Google My Business profile is a must if you want your business to be found. 

Follow this guide to Google My Business, and you’re going to see increased online presence across Google Search and Google Maps in no time.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending