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 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.
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!
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 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
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!)
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.
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.