Monthly Archives: March 2015

Effective Link Building in 2016 And Beyond

Link building is still one of the ways to boost your search engine rankings and market your brand, website, product, or service to your niche. To succeed in link building, you have to look beyond quantity and focus on quality. You also have to look at link building as more than just an SEO task. When you link and get a link back, you are building relationships. These relationships ultimately help your website rank higher in the search engines, and even more importantly, they increase your brand mentions and lead potential clients to your door.

Effective link building is no doubt challenging and stressful especially because Google seems wishy-washy about which tactics are acceptable and which aren’t. Link building as a discipline has certainly evolved. You need to make sure that everything you do complies with Google’s best practices or you risk getting penalized.

Are links still important in 2016?

Yes, though ‘effective’ link building now takes on a more personalized approach. This means avoiding shortcuts, removing links from robots, and banishing links from poor websites. Penguin—the sophisticated algorithm Google released in 2012—put an end to websites link farms. It brought light to backlink profiles, too.

How do you build links in 2016 and beyond?

According to Google’s Webmaster Guildelines, the best way to compel other websites to create relevant and high-quality links to your site is to create relevant and unique content—content that people will actually like and want to naturally share. There are no two ways about it: high-quality is and will always be king. When you offer valuable information presented in an engaging manner, you can expect people to link your content because they find it useful, amusing, helpful, or entertaining.

Targeted link building is now more vital than ever in boosting search engine rank. To survive in this game, forget everything you thought you knew about link building and go back to basics. Never try to manipulate or spam the search engines. Keep in mind that effective link building is a long term affair. Your goal should be to generate profitable and sustainable organic traffic to your website.

What Rank Brain Means For Your SEO

Google occasionally refreshes its algorithms to improve the way it indexes web pages while making sure that websites follow acceptable and fair methods of boosting their search engine rankings. In 2015, Google introduced Rank Brain, a ‘machine learning’ AI system and new algorithm that further enhanced its search technology. Machine learning occurs when a computer teaches itself how to perform certain tasks instead of relying on humans or detailed programming.

RankBrain is just one of the technologies behind Hummingbird. Apart from RankBrain, Hummingbird also incorporates (1) Penguin, Payday, and Panda to fight spam, (2) Top Heavy to reduce ad-heavy pages, (3) Pigeon for improving local search results, (4) Pirate for fighting copyright infringement, and (5) Mobile Friendly to provide mobile-friendly web pages.

RankBrain is essentially a hard working computer program that goes through billions of pages—which it already knows—then finds the ones that are seemingly most relevant for certain search queries. Think of it as Google’s AI machine. It processes about 15 percent of daily searches, but it is not a major algorithm update (unlike Penguin and Panda). However, Google has declared that RankBrain is an important ‘signal’ that helps match results to search queries, so if you are serious about SEO, then you should be looking at these signals.

‘Signals’ are the factors that Google uses to determine how web pages are ranked. They can be the words on a certain web page. Emboldened words may be considered as signals, too, and Google can takes note of them. Calculations that are used with PageRank provide pages a score, which is used as a signal. A page that is noted as ‘mobile-friendly’ gives a signal, too.

All these signals are processed by different parts in the Hummingbird algorithm to determine which pages Google will show in response to different search queries. Google has revealed having over 200 major ranking signals, each of which may have up to 10,000 sub-signals or variations. With RankBrain present, you may need to concentrate on mobile SEO, improving your local optimization strategies, producing better content, and curating the content that you share on your social media pages.

What Makes The Best SEO Companies?

Finding the best SEO companies can be difficult and challenging. If you do a simple Google search, you will no doubt find hundreds who are willing to take your project. Their pitches and promises all sound the same, though, making it difficult to determine which SEO company can actually deliver the results that you want. So how do you find the best SEO companies? The factors enumerated below will help you separate mediocre agencies from the greats:

1. People talk about them in a good way.

The best SEO companies have garnered hundreds of positive feedback and reviews about their services and what they do. You can find testimonials on their respective websites, but don’t rely on those. Be sure to look up reviews in third party sources so you can see unbiased feedback. Reputable SEO companies can offer references, too, so you can double-check their credentials and accomplishments.

2. They offer a comprehensive SEO program.

Seasoned SEO companies can cover everything from your website’s navigation and design to its content, incoming links, and coding. Just be sure that they are transparent about how they conduct optimization, and make sure that their SEO methods are acceptable and will not put your website at risk of getting blacklisted from the search engines.

3. They do their research.

Keyword research is an important part of SEO, so make sure that it is one of the steps that they do to before they start optimizing your website. Apart from this, seasoned SEO companies look up your competitors and analyze their websites to see how they are doing and how they compare to you. The goal of a good SEO firm is to understand the difference between you and your competition so that they can come up with better ways to target your audience.

4. They offer suggestions.

An SEO company does not merely take your to-do list and perform exactly what you want them to do. They are unafraid to offer suggestions that could improve your website’s optimization, structure, and other elements. You can be sure that they know exactly what they are doing.

5. All services are done in-house.

The best SEO companies have their own team of experienced professionals. They have people for every task—including link building and content writing—so they can deliver uniform and consistent results.