The Panda and Penguin updates that Google released earlier this year altered some SEO strategies especially in terms of link building and content marketing. Google is primarily looking to reduce paid linking strategies, keyword stuffing, and low quality content written primarily for search engines.
While writing and publishing great content is still a priority for us – and maybe more so now – it’s where we publish the content and how we link back to the website we’re promoting that has become more challenging.
We’ve written earlier about Content Marketing in a Post Penguin World and Blogging Challenges and Strategies where we address the time and effort that must be invested in not only writing valuable and informative content, but in finding legitimate and worthy sources to publish the content. Publishing and distribution sources are a big part of our shifting strategy as we move forward with SEO campaigns in 2012. Here are some of the areas we’re focusing on:
On-Site Content and Site Structure – SEO basics start with a well organized, informative site that covers relevant content in detail. Our focus starts on-site with elements such as title and description meta-tags, keyword-optimized text, internal links, sitemaps, SEO-friendly URLs, good site architecture and adding Analytics and Webmaster Tools for tracking and measuring success.
Blogging – we’ve always been big on blogging for content marketing but we’re now looking for the best ways to push our content out to our intended audience. We know it’s not enough to just create the information, but also to make sure it’s optimized for search AND to push it out through networking and social media channels.
Guest Blogging – this is an area we’ve become increasingly more focused on in our link building efforts. Guest blogging is more time consuming in terms of finding publishers and also in creating a greater volume of unique content.
Press Releases – we are big fans of press releases for content marketing, linking, and branding. However, the majority of free press release sites that still exist are generally not recommended. We still use a few that seem to have held their value but we highly recommend using paid sites such as PRWeb that provide a greater wealth of distribution across legitimate and worthy websites.
Social Media – the relationship between SEO and social media is certainly not new but now more than ever, social media is an integral part of our SEO strategy. We recommend twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest as platforms to reach your audience and establish your brand. We also recommend networking on Google Plus and establishing authorship between your profile and your blog or website to directly influence search engine results.
While there have been big changes in the SEO world this year, the basics remain the same. What’s really changed is that Google is not rewarding free and easy links like with PR and article sites, spammy paid linking like with pay-per-posts and blogrolls, or repetitive, keyword-based anchor text. So the basics of high quality content and linking remain, but it’s how we network, distribute, link, and publish that are our biggest changes moving forward.