SEO Guide For 2010

Time

The single biggest SEO factor is time. And not just domain age, but back-link age, back-link source website age, and even the amount of time you have been ranking in certain positions. This is why you can’t storm online markets anymore. (there is a trick which still allows you to storm markets un-noticed, but it still takes just as much time.)

But time is also conversely important. How long has it been since your website received new content? Adding new content keeps your website FRESH. You can do this automatically with RSS feeds.

User Experience

User Experience is already becoming an SEO metric itself – so not only is the content on your site important, but the level of engagement with your users is also becoming increasingly important.

This isn’t just a best practice recommendation, but a real, tangible, technical SEO variable.

If you can decrease the bounce rate of your site, and increase the average visitor time, chances are you will also notice positive ranking changes.

Google is smart enough to be tracking its users search queries, times between searches, and similar searches within a short period of time which may indicate that a user hasn’t found what he/she was after.

Black Hat, Grey Hat, White Hat in 2010

We need new definitions for these buzz words. Allow me…

Black Hat – Anything That will get your site de-indexed. Mostly on-page techniques and some large scale spammy back-linking.

Grey Hat – Techniques that are very effective but that may or may not be sustainable. Things such as PR Sculpting and Article Spinning.

White Hat – Techniques that will always be effective. Like links from other websites in your industry, press releases, etc.

I recommend making the most of grey hat techniques while maintaining a strong focus on white hat techniques – this way you achieve a short term return on investment without jeopardising the long term sustainability of your project.

Reverse Page Rank

A speculative theory in which linking to relevant authority sites will have a positive effect on your own rankings. My testing suggests there may be legs to this theory.

It stands to reason that a relevant website may link to other relevant websites. Don’t be afraid to link out of your website in 2010.

Variation

The buzz word for 2010 – Variation! Not only sprinkling your content with different related keywords (formerly referred to as LSI keywords) – but you need to backlink with variations on those keywords as well. You also need to link each keyword to multiple pages, such as linking to your homepage with your Longtail keyword, as well as to your Longtail page.

If you are trying to optimise a page for “Audi Car Insurance” you need to also link to that page with variations on the anchor text, including deep Longtail keywords and dirty anchor text.

Its like a champagne fountain – each glass overflows and helps fill each other glass.

You also need to get as large a variety in source domains for your links as possible. Focus on finding websites where you can get a link that you’ve never before had a link from. The more source domains you can get links from, the better!

Rather than posting 10 articles on ezinearticles.com, you are much better off posting each of those ten articles on a different article directory. Post 3 comments per blog, then find a new blog to comment on. Etc.

Also, a link is a link. Get links from high PR, as well as low PR sites. Get both nofollow and dofollow links!
Branding:

Build backlinks not just with your keywords, but also with your domain name as the anchor text. If I’m optimising for “SEO Guide” I will also link with anchor text including “Vince Samios”, “VinceSamios.com” and “http://vincesamios.com” – You need to get a nice ratio on this – with about 50% linking with dirty (traditionally bad) anchor text variations, and 50% linking with keyword anchor text variations.

Content

Content has always been one of the key factors to SEO. A sheer quantity of GOOD content is one of the most critical SEO attributes. A two page website will always rank better than a one page website, and a three page website more so than a two page website, etc.

Also make sure to interlink your internal pages as much as is relevantly possible

Ramp

Start slow and build up your SEO campaigns in a cumulative fashion. You are aiming for a parabolic curve. This is why I’ll start a new website and get a few links built every month. I then let the website stew, brew and bubble for a couple of months before re-visiting it with better content and a more aggressive back-linking campaign.

PR Sculpting in 2010

A big coop in 2009, the apparent death of PR Sculpting came about when Google announced its new approach to the much abused no-follow tag (By the way, in case you have any valuable comments, this is a do-follow blog!)

The alternatives won’t last – Using Javascript and iFrames – it’s like building a paper mache ladder in a thunderstorm. Google is getting ever more clever, indexing content within flash just a few years ago. When is Google going to be able to render iFrames as a part of a page, and when can the Google Spider crawl through javascript. Now? Yesterday? 5 Years Ago?

Never underestimate Googles capabilities and build everything for the future.

You can still funnel the love around your site, but the trick isn’t to limit the number of internally follow-able links, but to INCREASE internal linking. If page “X” needs more love, then link to it from pages “G” and “Q” – this is a sustainable way to sculpt your website.

Conclusion

There is a lot of hyped, out of date and egotistical waffle in this industry. Be resilient and focus on these things:

1. User Experience
2. On-page SEO & Internal Linking
3. Building Backlinks

It doesn’t get any simpler than that – with only three things to focus on your productivity will increase massively and you will save cash you would otherwise spend on the next hyped product or course.

15 thoughts on “SEO Guide For 2010

  1. A fair Article, I have been banging on a about variation without using the terms for about 4 years now.

    You play it higher with 50% dirty/natural links than I would do you have an evidence to back thta up, I’ve always claimed about 20% historically.

    You also didnt mentioned landing page in variance, a profile with too much deep linking is also very problematic.

    anyway good stuff.

  2. Thanks for the tips! I’ve been recently working on back link building and tried to avoid any sites which gave “nofollow” links. I’m going to rethink this strategy.

  3. Great article Vince, had several “oh really?!?” moments reading about new SEO concepts I’ve not heard of before. Reverse Page Rank is particularly interesting. To date I am always reluctant to link out but if this is true then it makes sense.

    Bounce rate influencing your rankings is also another interesting one, again making complete sense. If people spend time on a site then clearly the content is worth ranking.

    As you say, user experience and good content seems to win through, which is no doubt what Google has in mind when people search. But beyond Google if someone likes the content (as I do this article!) they are likely to share it (which I will on Twitter!) which will drive more traffic to your website.

    Content truely is king.

  4. Great article – 2010 is going to be a big year for SEO I think!

    Lets add a couple more ideas into the mix;

    1) Site performance – This recently appeared in Google’s Webmaster Tools and people are just starting to notice it now. I think Google is going to start paying attention to this, if they don’t already so make sure your site loading time is on point.

    2) CTR – It would be logical for Google to start paying attention to how many clicks vs impressions your website gets for organic rankings, as they do in Google Adwords. We already know that Google doesn’t use meta descriptions in scoring websites, so make sure yours persuade the user to click on your website and not a competitors.

    3) With reference to this point Vince – ‘A two page website will always rank better than a one page website, and a three page website more so than a two page website, etc’

    2009 brought us the controversial ‘Angelas Backlinks’ – I wonder what new short lived schemes 2010 will bring!

    Anthony

  5. I think the ‘reverse page rank’ is certainly an interesting one worth paying attention to. And ‘ramp’ is vitally important nowadays as over cooking it early on can really harm a site in my experience.

  6. Pingback: Internal No-follow vs External No-Follow

  7. All good advice. If you’ve ever read Dan Thies Seo Fast Start guide he backs up just what you’ve mentioned here. For a free guide, it’s excellent.

    For me it all starts with good content, paying special attention to customers and followers and employing good linking strategies.

  8. Thanks for the information, one thing is for certain, time never stands still and we need to keep refreshing our ideas and , for me, reading articles like your and othe rexperts is a must.

  9. Interesting point about Reverse Backlinking. Another thing to test on my sites. And thanks for the tips this morning Vince. We will see the results as they are relevant to this post

  10. Pingback: Google knows our CTR’s

  11. Terrific article. Thanks for the post. Through a google search, I found this page in effort of finding whether or not it’s worth while to build nofollow links. The top ranking site in my target keyword phrase is littered with nofollows. I got my answer and much more!

    I am unsure of a few things however. Does a wp blog with frequent new posts constitute fresh content or should original page content of the homepage be refreshed or added to with lsi terms. Again thanks for the article.

  12. Thanks for the tips useful! I think the ‘reverse page rank’ is certainly one interesting thing worth noting many people.I’m working on rebuilding link and try to avoid any sites that have “nofollow” link,because I think nofollow “no effective for my job,but reading your article I would rethink this strategy.

  13. I think you were proved to be on the money with Keyword variation, this has become very important this year.

  14. Very good article, the same principles that have done so well over the years still apply to day, build great content, do the right keyword research and built trustworthy links, and you will always rank well.

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