SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO).
Getting on the 1st Page of Google, Organically.
There are two main facets to SEO: one is known as ON PAGE SEO and the other is known as OFF PAGE SEO. Both are complicated endeavours (though for different reasons). But as you can see in the SEO ICEBERG diagram I’ve put together above, the amount of effort that goes into getting your website optimized in a way Google will value, is only 25% of the total iceberg. With the vast majority of the SEO that matters happening AFTER the site itself is optimized. And, like on-page SEO, the off-page optimization is never ending, with its matrix by necessity getting bigger and more complicated over time.
SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING (SEM).
Paying for the Privilege of Being on the 1st Page of Google.
It’s important to note however that PAID LINKS (as opposed to PAID SEARCH) does not fall under SEM. Paid links are classified by Google as a Black Hat SEO technique and will result in a ‘Google Slap’ that will cause the website to be de-indexed from Google’s search results altogether. So never, ever do this. And if a so called ‘SEO Expert’ tells you otherwise (and there are many that still do) - hang up on them. Because the key, as always, to getting people to link to you (especially in the post Panda and Penguin Google world) is to AUTHOR GREAT ORIGINAL CONTENT that engages with your community and prompts them to ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ the content with their friends. But great content that exists in a vacuum won't get read. Which is where SMO comes in...
SOCIAL MEDIA OPTIMIZATION (SMO).
Getting People to 'Like' and 'Share' Your Message With Their Friends.
Links from web 2.0 sites (which became classified by the industry as 'rel=”nofollow' links) take the user from site A to site B, but are not followed by the Google spider (and thus are not factored into your site’s organic page rankings). However, post Panda and Penguin (Google algorithmic updates that radically altered how search works) this landscape is changing. Links from these web 2.0 sites still do not carry any Google juice, but Google have now admitted that 'Social Markers' such as the amount of likes, re-tweets, etc, are being factored into their organic search results. Google is doing this because it now believes that people don’t just search any more, they search, socialize and share. And that a 'Social Marker' is another indicator of 'Quality Content'. In other words, thinks Google, why would someone 'like' or 'share' something if the content was rubbish? They wouldn't. Ergo the content they 'liked' or shared must be of value.
This factoring in of 'Social Markers' by Google is set to radically change search as we know it. Sure, the organic search landscape hasn’t changed all that dramatically yet for the end user, but trust me when I tell you that it is changing and that if you want to future-proof your business against the winds of change, you'd better get aggressive with an SMO strategy...and fast.
Allow me explain what I mean: in years gone by, Google followed a link from point A to point B, and classified it as ‘a link from website A to website B’. In other words, from one ‘entity’ (site) to another. But now, with the launch of Google + and their Authorship algorithm, Google are looking to follow a link from one PERSON to another. This is a very important and seismic shift in the way Google are looking to handle search. Done well, it will make your search results different to my search results because we each ‘trust’ authors (of web content), differently. Which means that, even if we’re sitting next to each other and type in the exact same Google search on identical computers, we will get slightly different first page search results.
That said, Google + can hardly be viewed as a success, so far. Sure, millions of people have signed up for Google +, but – unlike Facebook – only a small percentage of people actually use the site regularly. Whereas people spend more time on Facebook than they do on search, youtube and Google + put together. But given Google has spent untold millions on R&D to make these changes work, expect them to iron out the bugs sooner rather than later.
Want to master SEO? Then book in yourself or your staff for some SEO Training Sydney today! Sydney's #1 SEO Trainer Brian M Logan shows you everything you need to get your company website on the first page of Google. SEO Training can be in-house (we come to you) or classroom based (you come to us).
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