Spam-Fighting Always Continues
Google’s Matt Cutts promised a month free of major updates, but added that “spam-fighting always continues.” Indeed, there were some complaints from webmasters around the 17th and 19th that could have been Google taking out another link network.
This month, Google made an example out of Rap Genius. The site was offering traffic for blog links. To participate, you had to link to their Justin Bieber page. And somehow feel good about yourself. Oh, and send them the link. Rap Genius would then tweet your link to their followers, sending traffic to your blog. Google caught wind of the link scheme, and severely punished Rap Genius in the rankings. The moral is that Google will always, usually, catch you!
So how do you invest in search engine traffic for the long term?
1. Create Content
Google wants compelling content: images, blog posts, videos, podcasts, surveys and more. Good content is long (1000 words plus for articles) and holds your visitor’s attention. Google does not want visitors leaving the site quickly (but will probably forgive if it’s an ad click!).
2. Tag Your Content
Search engines are getting better at understanding what we humans create on the internet. But communication directly with “search engine bots” has never been easier. These technologies could be better implemented on almost every website:– Internal linking structures – Sitemap.xml – Title tags – Meta descriptions – Rich snippets
3. Get the Word Out
Content outreach and marketing has never been more important. Content today is where websites were in 1998: Many build, and then are disappointed at the results. Good content competes against a dizzying array of distractions in an always-connected world, and must be actively marketed – even AGGRESSIVELY marketed – to make an impression. Content must be spread via social media (especially Google+), and marketed specifically for links. These are “earned links” and outreach for the purpose of links wonderful way to promote your content. As a bonus, this promotion of content will also promote rankings!
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