Thursday, March 27, 2014

Who Killed SEO? SEO Tips Part 1 - What is SEO?

by David Brown
Content Marketing Consultant
Copywriter

SEO Tips - a Series of Blogs

In this series of blogs, I will be discussing current methods, trends and issues with SEO or search engine optimization. Some are to gain better authority and page ranking, and some are to undo damage that was done by abusive SEO methods.

You will see reference to "scammers and spammers" in this blog. That is my term for those who are practicing abusive SEO. You have probably seen a few in your email inbox. The email usually only shows a first name without a company name. It has big promises such as  "500+ news websites, 100+ news blogs, and one-of-its-kind social media blast." Unfortunately these have given professional SEO and content marketing consultants a challenge as the term SEO becomes a red flag for "buyer beware". 

Who Killed SEO?

Just when SEO or search engine optimization is becoming more and more a familiar term among small business owners, law practices, and other enterprises who want to get ahead in Internet marketing, who killed the methods and techniques that made SEO a proven tool for top page ranking?

Google? With their increased vigilance on page ranking criteria?

Or "spammers and scammers", who abused the Google guidelines, trying to force stronger page ranking results, only to have it all backfire and blow up in their face? Let's start with a short definition and background.


What is SEO?

SEO is the use of a best standards approach to increasing page ranking in Google and other search engines with methods that are accepted and encouraged by Google.

Page ranking is the goal of SEO, and page ranking factors have changed over time, as Google has changed their algorithm that has hundreds of calculations programmed to determine page rank. In an important survey of over 200 leading search marketers in 2013, MOZ, a leading authority in SEO, compiled the importance of page ranking factors.  While these are a bit technical for an introduction to SEO, they show at a glance the many variables involved. We will began to explore this in the next blog post.


SEO - a Quick Background


Search engine optimization was developed to increase better page ranking for web sites using certain methods that worked at the time such as link building with keywords and anchor text, guest posting with links, link exchanges, and building out web pages with certain html tags and keywords to name a few.

The methods and strategy with SEO has changed dramatically and yet the numerous "scammers and spammers" are still out there in droves emailing and promoting outdated SEO methods that can cause more harm than good.

Small business owners are caught in the crossfire between learning about SEO and hearing various sales pitches about the top of Google that it may be hard to find good updated information.

Unfortunately, these "scammers and spammers" have given the term SEO a bad name in some circles, and many consultants and companies have changed their association with this controversial term. Some companies have even changed their business name, removing the abbreviated SEO to disassociate their business with an exclusive reference to SEO.

So much abuse occurred in this area that Google started updating their algorithm used by their Google Bot to review and update web sites and blogs and other published content. Each time that they updated, they were seeking to increase authenticity, transparency, as well as relevance to searches by the public that displayed web sites with actual verified authority in their field. Penalties were implemented that reduced or seriously blasted any web site or blog that was abusing the methods of link building and other SEO strategies.

Gradually over time, certain SEO methods were not being given as much weight as others. Example: If I told you how good our services were versus you seeing a lot of positive reviews and testimonials, which would carry more weight? Google started giving more weight to how others responded to the content rather than what the author says about the content, and to the quality of the content itself.

So ....Who Killed SEO ?

SEO is not dead, but some of the methods that have been abused are. Spammers and scammers caused Google to update their algorhithm to clear out SEO spam, and downgrade some methods that worked for page ranking, while giving more weight to others.

SEO Tips Part 2 - SEO Today

In the next blog post - SEO Tips Part 2 - SEO Today ,we will explore what the top ranking factors are as shown in the survey, and take a closer look at the current strategies for each of the top three factors: Page Authority, Google + 1's, and Unique c-blocks Linking to the Page .

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Authored by

David Brown

David Brown is an award winning webmaster, copywriter and internet marketing consultant. As owner of Logion Web Design, he has been in the SEO and content marketing industry since 1999. He is the sole author and publisher of this blog, Likes, Tweets and SEO, and also is the owner of Dentist Webmaster LLC, launched in 2013. He offers consulting and is accepting qualified accounts for monthly advanced SEO and content marketing services. His dog's name is Shaman.