SEO isn’t about links anymore; it’s about engagement

Posted on November 22, 2012

 

Ever since Google won the search wars with its algorithm based on links and link strength, SEO has been a constant quest for links – with SEO companies promising ‘quality’ links to improve your rankings within the search giant’s pages. Google has always maintained the act of ‘buying’ or ‘renting’ links was against its terms and conditions, even though it still rewarded websites with the best link profiles. Its actions seemed at odds with its beliefs, and this is why so many Internet marketing companies ploughed on regardless with their paid links, secure in the knowledge they would get the results their clients demanded.

This has all changed now thanks to Google finally practising what it preaches, and taking swift action against websites with unnatural link profiles. Even some SEO companies themselves have found their cherished places in Google disappear as a result of them using their own link buying tactics on their own sites.

Rather than links, Google now values the website itself. Links are still important, but links are a by-product of a successful website – not a contributing factor towards one. If the website has the right blend of useful, interesting and unique content then links will follow, and the rankings will result. This isn’t some passive form of SEO; this is building the strength of your website the right way, so that it stands the winds of change from Google’s algorithms and isn’t susceptible to penalties handed out for breaching Google’s terms of service.

So what constitutes quality content? In short, it’s whatever someone may be looking for in Google when, you hope, they find your website. Whatever your industry, your website should be an informative resource that answers the questions posed by the people you want to attract when they use Google. Google wants to produce these resources for its users because, if it didn’t, they may use an alternative search engine. You simply need to make your website the sort of website Google wants to find. You’re just helping Google to help you.

Quality content could be how-to articles, FAQs, case studies, guides, dos and don’ts, lists, interviews, features, videos, infographics, news or indeed anything of interest to your potential customers and clients. The golden rules when producing this sort of content are:

1. It must be unique – Google doesn’t like to see copied content, so produce your own
2. It must be well written – quality is of the essence if you expect Google to rank it, and people to link to it
3. It must be well presented – there’s no point having the best content in the world, if your website isn’t set up to display it properly. Some basic mistakes in your web design can render your content useless

At Engage Web, we have been providing content for marketing agencies and websites around the world for many years. Our Pressroom product offers a flexible content solution, with all of the content edited by journalist trained editors. If your website is in need of some authority and quality content, ask us how Pressroom could work for you.

Managing Director at Engage Web
Lianne is Managing Director and co-founder of Engage Web. With her background in marketing, advertising and SEO, she has overseen the company’s rapid growth since its formation in 2009.
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