DSM Weekly Search Marketing Digest – 20/02/15

February 20, 2015 - Digital State Marketing

knowledge-is-power-higbieHaving waxed lyrical about responsive design on consecutive weeks, it might seem like time to roll out some counter-arguments – or at least warnings regarding poor implementation, right?

Sorry to disappoint you but even in this article detailing website design techniques that can, if done badly, create a negative impact on your site’s SEO, there’s nothing but over for mobile-friendly designs. However, there are plenty of minefields that are clearly outlined, as well as how to implement the design positives without lumbering yourself with the negatives.  If you’re about to start conceptual planning of your new website, this is a good place to start.

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Going hand in hand with design elements is what Barry Adams calls the “first pillar of SEO – technology”.  In this, the second in a series, he looks at how important the technical elements of SEO are to achieving success, a fact made even more pertinent when you consider how many people don’t give it the consideration they should (they may be your competitors – overtake them now!)

He focuses on a particular element, crawl efficiency, and builds a fairly comprehensive technical SEO methodology from it – a great way to get your head straight about why certain swathes of algorithmic elements are inter-connected beneath a broad concept; and a great way to focus on what’s important when too many variables are bouncing around your head.

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Next I’m going to look at link acquisition activity as there were a couple of articles this week that I particularly liked.

Firstly, we saw John Mueller telling a Google Webmaster Help hangout that he recommends everyone avoids link-building – an opinion that was subtly questioned by Alex Graves here.

The fact is that Google is very keen to ensure it stays on message with its “if you build it, they will come” approach, when it claims that content is all you need and links will come naturally if the content is valued enough.  However, this approach singularly ignores the commercial realities of competitors accelerating their link profile.  As such, link acquisition – that is, the proactive development of inbound links that are relevant, authoritative and demonstrate value to traffic – is the unspeakable truth, as far as Google is concerned.

And I think it’s fair to assume that it will remain so until Google removes link equity from its algorithm.

And with that in mind, here’s a nice interpretation of how you can keep Google onside whilst still being proactive in your link profile development – work to maximise what you’ve already got/should have.

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If we assume, however, that Google wants to stop relying on links – as they’re too easy to manipulate, unnaturally – and is adapting its algorithm over time to diminish their importance, what can it be looking to replace them with to assess authority?

Social media has, for a number of years, been a hypothetical source, though the obstacles to value analysis have always been large and the potential for manipulation just as great as with links (if not more so).  Here’s Eric Enge (from Stone Temple) on the new Google/Twitter deal and how it may impact SEO – a great analysis of some significantly hefty datasets.

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Lastly, irrespective of how Google ignores the link elephant in the room, it is of course extremely strong advice to make your content as valuable as possible and to market it as actively as possible so as to garner naturally earned links wherever possible.  How this differs from link building is the question Google seems indifferent about clarifying but it’s clear there’s definite benefit to providing credible and information content – both for human users and for link equity potential.

With this in mind, here’s our final link – an exhaustive list of ways to promote your content.  If you don’t end up growing your link profile after that, you can be sure your blog really wasn’t that good after all!

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