Summary of Search, February 2013

Some SEOs speculated a Panda update was in the works a couple of weeks ago, but none has been confirmed by Google. It’s actually been a pretty calm month in the world of Organic SEO.

What does Google want these days?! Overall trends and our collaboration with other SEOs reveal four important trends:
1. Google wants content published by Brands
Keyword rich domains have lost much value in the last year. Google is giving preference to brands. They expect constant publishing and distribution of content.

2. Google plus is gaining in importance
Will the Google plus economy replace the link economy? It’s too soon to say. But with the increasing importance of Google plus, it is becoming more vital to have profiles built out and maintained.

3. Negative SEO is alive and well
One of our Black Hat SEOs on the panel has a thriving business doing “Negative SEO” for clients. Instead of building up his client’s authority with links, he’s creating as many horrible links as possible to competitors. The process is phenomenally easy, and the results mean a scary new chapter for SEO. Building sufficient authority with good links is the only possible defense.

4. Links from authority sites are more important than ever
Getting links from important sites, whether in the niche or just more important overall, is a sign of confidence affecting rankings now more than ever.

Moving Forward
To reiterate last month’s emphasis on the New Google, and add on a 4th item:
1. Google continues to reward branding, social signals, and links from authority websites.
2. Even larger brands have to pay ever more attention to their technical SEO. No longer can duplicate content or thin content be overlooked.
3. Google expects sites that engage users: Videos, images, animations, and other forms of engaging media are important in the new Google. And content needs to match keyword targets wherever possible.
4. The more that media can be spread and leveraged, the better.

New SEO Approaches:
If you have a content creation initiative (or can get one started), our Content Marketing Link Building is the best way to go. If not, see our Business Development SEO Cycle.
1. “Content Marketing” Link Building involves gaining links for clients based upon their excellent content.

2. “Business Development Link Building” gains links through regular business development activities: providing sponsorships, getting listed on resource pages/”hub pages” in a vertical, and being involved in related conversations in forums and blogs.

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