There has been a lot of angst created around the use of links to other websites after Google announced that sites with bad links would be penalized, whereas sites using co-concurrence and co-citation would be rewarded. If your website hasn’t been updated for some years, it might be time for you to rethink your SEO strategy.
Ten years ago, or perhaps more, webmasters had the impression that any kind of link, out-or in-bound was desirable, and link farms were set up to supply them with links. These links were often spammy and had nothing to do with the content in the website. What Google is trying to do is impress upon webmasters that links must be relevant to the content of the post and they should add something to the content.
Content is indeed king and it needs to be well-written, engaging and grammatically correct. Visitors to a site soon exit when they realize that the content was written by a non-native speaker and it is nonsensical. Google has been trying to improve this aspect of sites for some time, but it seems it has had limited success, although there are hopes for future improvement in this area.
Key words and links
One of the problems with SEO is that webmasters believed that the more key words, tags and meta-descriptions surrounding the post, the higher it would be ranked in the Search Engine Optimization Pages (SERPS). This is no longer (if it ever were) true.
Now you need only relevant links, good quality content and that has to be written in an engaging style. If you employ a SEO firm to help you rise in the SERPS, you should check to see exactly where they are in those pages themselves. You also need a company with a proven track record in optimizing websites. Now you also need people who understand precisely how co-concurrence works and who can do the necessary research in order to include relevant co-citations in your content.
“Good” links have in no way been outlawed by Google, but these should be used sparingly. If you have a strong media presence on Twitter, Facebook and Google + for example (and don’t forget about LinkedIn) then you can tap into your followers on these social networking sites and build up your visitors. You can also test the water and engage your followers to try out ideas, then, in theory, you can produce excellent content that keeps them interested and coming back for more. This should give you more visibility and ultimately improve your page ranking.
A good SEO firm will be able to manage your social media network for you, or at least will advise you what would be good to tweet (for example). You may simply be too busy to manage your social networks on a daily basis, but these days they are integral to your site and driving traffic to it.
Why choose SEO firms?
If you need more visibility for your site, then perhaps you should consider using the services of a reputable SEO firm. You need one which doesn’t rely only on links to move your site up the SERPS. Alternatively, perhaps you would like to do the hard work yourself to improve your site; if that is the case, you can find courses tailored to suit your needs. These can be individual ones designed specifically for you, or group courses. The advantage of a course is that you are totally in control of your site, but the downside is that you have to do all the work yourself, although a good SEO firm would offer you the support you need after the course has ended.
The slight problem with going on a training course is that Google change the goal posts for SEO every few months, or so it seems, so you would need regular updates from the firm that trained you in order for you not to fall foul of another Penguin. Luckily there are firms that give you support when you need it. They also can provide you with regular updates regarding what Google has done.
There’s little doubt that SEO is important for any website, and now that there are changes to the way Google rewards and penalizes sites, perhaps you should think of the SEO you need on your site.