The Google updates we have seen in 2011 have been some of the most SEO game changing algorithm tweaks in Google History. We at Silicon Beach Training are providers of SEO Training Courses so we need to be constantly on or toes; updating our knowledge as fast as Google updates it’s algorithms, (which according to Google is every day!). Here we share some of the most important and relevant changes we have seen this year. The Panda/Farmer update introduced in January this year has had several major updates completely cleaning out Google indexes, targeting content farms, link farms and low quality websites.
In some cases websites have completely disappeared whilst others have been subjugated to the lowly ranks of buried search results. Meanwhile trustworthy, quality, useful sites with unique content have risen through the ranks. The way that Google is evaluating sites is by measuring “authority”. It does this by using metrics to measure your brand authority and your domain authority. When reading the advice posted on Google’s official blogs and looking out for announcements, they hint that to score well for these metrics your site needs to appear to be the most authoritative, useful and trustworthy site to appear highest the results for a certain keywords. So the burning question is:
How do I become an authority site?
Build Quality Inbound Links
Link building is not a new concept but the rules have changed. Whereas before the emphasis was on quantity, now more than ever the emphasis in on quality. Your link building activity should appear organic, so you need to find ways of gradually building links, with varied anchor text, from other quality sites.
Here are some other considerations when building the most effective links to increase your brand, authority and trust:
Place your links in the body of the text as much as possible. Links found in sidebars, footers and navigation elements have a lot less value than those in editorial content.
Links form editorial content signal “trust”
Spread your links across multiple domains: Too many links for the same site is not going to help you, it looks much more organic and natural to have links from many different domains.
Don’t pay for Links: this practice is dead!
Focus your Link building/Content Marketing efforts:
Check where you are putting your links and content. Does the website have a page rank? More importantly is it relevant to the niche market and keywords you are gunning for. The higher the quality the website, and the more relevant it is really matters. Better to work hard to place one link on a trustworthy website with authority, than waste time posting twenty links on sites with little value.
Vary your anchor text: Don’t overuse the same anchor text for your links, do try and vary it so that, again, it looks organic to the search engines. If you write content that is unique, funny, thorough, thought provoking, new or entertaining you will encourage others to link to your posts. Get others to do the hard work for you, it’s likely that they will be using different anchor text.
Link Depth: Try and generate links and encourage others to link to varying content pages on your site. Google will treat this as an indicator that your site is trustworthy, it is an indicator that people are linking to quality and relevant content that other sites trust and think is worthy of linking to.
Use Social Media: Social media networks such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn are all opportunities for you to encourage your fans to share the best of your content. Make sure you have all the relevant share buttons in an obvious place at the top or the bottom of your content. We have put our share buttons both at the top and bottom of our posts, site speed is also a ranking factor though and they will slow your page load speed a little, so I’ll leave that decision up to you.
When people share your content, the search engines know about it, each share will act like a vote for your content, so it’s really important to create content that people want to read.
You can also use your social networks to post your own relevant content.
Don’t forget about Social Bookmarking: Digg, Delicious and StumbleUpon can all generate valuable links. If something takes off on one of these sites it can really make a difference. Don’t forget though to share other people’s great content too, just submitting your own links is very frowned upon on these sites.
Share, Share, and be Shared
I cannot emphasise enough the importance of sharing, it is the very heart of all effective internet marketing. It will strengthen your brand in the eyes of Google. A strong brand equals trust, and it is trust that will increase your authority score.
Dedicate as much time as you can to cultivating your social networks. Seek out and communicate with other authoritative people, this can have a great impact on how far your messages reach and the number of people who will share it.
Conclusion: The trust factor is a metric that is here to stay. Google are finding more and cleverer little ways of sorting out the wheat from the chaff by manipulating their search algorithm. Established brands are already reaping the benefits, but smaller business can use the new metrics for their own gain too.
At Silicon Beach Training we provide some of the most up-to-date Social Media, Content Marketing and best SEO courses in the UK. As well as writing lots of great SEO content for our blog we also regularly publish SEO articles on our dedicated SEO training resources site. Of course once you have got your SEO in order you will need a good understanding of Google Analytics, we have some amazing Google Analytics trainers for our beginners and advanced Google Analytics training courses.