Ranking Well in Search Engines, Link Building, and Other Related Matters
There is one question that is common to all businesses and the people involved in marketing them – “how do we rank well in search engines?” It does not matter how big or how small the business or website is as SEO, link building, and online marketing is always a popular topic of conversation.
The problem is there are often more questions than answers. This is because people have tried cheating the SEO and online marketing industry with attempts to cheat the system since the dawn of the internet.
It’s a bit like the Coyote chasing the Road Runner in the Looney Tunes cartoon. The Coyote schemed and plotted but ultimately failed. On the internet, the Road Runner is Google and the other search engines. You can use tricks and ploys in an attempt to catch her and sometimes you might get close, but she’ll always get away.
To find the answer you have to stop chasing the Road Runner.
Good Old Fashioned Marketing
Matt Cutts, the famous Google engineer who heads up the company’s Webspam team, discussed old fashioned marketing in a recent interview. If your website is not ranking well in Google it’s probably because of something his team put in place.
In the interview he talked about a lot of specific things but they are summed up in a single sentence:
"SEO is now circling back around to good old-fashioned marketing.”
And good, old-fashioned marketing has nothing to do with Google (or the Road Runner!) Instead it is about creating something great and then telling people about it. If those people like it they will tell others and the circle will grow. Search engines will notice this and will rank you higher.
The important part is that you cannot skimp or cheat the system. Creating takes hard work, and getting people to talk about it is even harder. Google knows this. And if you can find a way to authentically rise above the noise, Google will reward you. Google will also get better at spotting anyone who tries to cheat.
Cutts gave a good example in the interview. He talked about a company creating a press release and sending it to a website for publication. He said that things like press releases would mean nothing to Google. But if a journalist reads the press release, and likes it enough that he or she writes an article about it, Google will treat it differently.
That is the overview: now for some specifics. Social media is a good place to start and it’s something Google and other search engines monitor. Having a large number of followers on the main social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter and Google+ - is important but it’s not the whole story. You also need an engaged audience that responds to your updates.
And how do you get your social media audience to respond to your updates? By creating creative content that’s top-notch.
This ties into how you can become an authority in your industry. Being an authority means being relevant and interesting to your customers. The best way to do this is by creating content.
Other SEO and link building tactics that were discussed by Cutts were guest blogging, syndicating content, conducting interviews, and being interviewed. He said all of these things are okay and are beneficial as long as you follow two principles. You’ll need to make sure that:
- The standards relating to article and blog post markups are followed
- The main purpose of all of your efforts remains creating quality content.
When you stop chasing the Road Runner and start creating high-quality content, your customers will find you, and want to learn more. Content that gets seen and shared, tell search engines (like Google) to notice you. And your customers will come to you by choice. What’s better than that?