Ghosts of Search Past, Present and Future

What’s working now for SEO, always the question right?

Crap links, good links, high PR links, building trust and trusted links, anchor text variance, wiki links, edu links social signals yea all those work, along with paying particular attention to on-page seo, especially keyword density (less is more, but too little is not enough!)

Is the era of crap-link automation over?

Nope, but it’s more of a churn and burn strategy if you want to call it a strategy at all, but for those who are building trust links and going whitehat they’re seeing benefits more from their on-site content and their on-page optimization that the brand-building they’re doing. the whole online persona marketing thang takes time and yes, while it builds trust and followings and increases conversions, those things alone don’t do the trick, more on this later.

Back to crap-links automation and why it still works.

Automated link building works mostly due to the fact that there’s a certain seo benefit to achieving and maintian a link velocity. The dangers to this method is that when these links get de-indexed, then some sites see their upwardly rising site in rankings lose its ranking momentum, then start to see it sliding downwards once the link accrual as seen by search engines goes backwards (due to de-indexation of backlinks and velocity).

Link velocity is a tricky thing, it can be a trap that forces you to do more and more just to maintain momentum and rankings. once you start doing this, you’ll find yourself working on getting links spidered, indexed, and then doing some link checks to see if the link giving urls are still live on the net.. More work to do, and more money to be spent and eventually the boy plugging the dam/dike with his fingers runs out of fingers and toes to hold the water back, hope that makes sense…

Automation is cool, it works when done properly, basically the strategy is to build links en masse, in volume and attempt to build more links that stick, then work on those for a while with more links sent to them, and building tiers to them. But it’s basically filling the internet with crap content built for sole purpose of link juice building.

One such service that does a good job of building these kinds of links is here (aff link) and they know the links are mostly crap, but the service is good and the end results are NOT crap, so at some point you have to ask or tell yourself, the internet doesn’t care about you or your mortgage and neither do the search engines so why not automate your link velocity, especially when following best practices espoused by major search engines doesn’t really do the trick.

Whitehat SEO and following Google guidelines…

Trying to reverse engineer ranking algorithms has been a non-stop chore for seo-ers for a long time now and at the end of the day what’s ALWAYS worked is building a brand and having good content.

But why?

Well, because people with REAL businesses, and those who build real community websites have shown over time that they have a real devotion to their market, to their business, and exhibit this via their content too. Real businesses, and real experts aren’t just posting on their own websites, they’re not “found” only via one channel, they’re on forums, they’re social, they’re in other communities interacting with like-minded folks, and also presenting themselves in front of target audience in non-selling ways..

People with real businesses end up with a brand, whether it be by accident or on a-purpose, so when you hear about brand-building, you have to realize that it’s not something you go out and do merely by building more anchor text links with your domain name as the anchor text… it’s more of a philosophy that’s to be followed and implemented.

Brand-building and business-building are the same thing really… Local SEO involves doing citations and directory listings and getting reviews and building out a presence on myriad channels, social (facebook, twitter, weebly, whatever) and one thing not spoken about nor mentioned much is something called local signals, meaning that if you get interviewed by a local newspaper about your local business, then a link form the online newspaper holds a lot of value, value that’s not to be overlooked.

I did some local SEO for a Boston, MA client recently and the Boston Phoenix contacted me to arrange for an interview with the owner, and the main reason why this occurred was due to a press release that got sent out and noticed by the Phoenix. Point being, the client has a real website, offers a real service, and because of ALL OF THAT… the easy publicity comes in without effort, so yeah.. real businesses end up building brands rather easily and in the long-run they have an easier time with seo and rankings, even with static websites. After all, how much do you expect a real doctor to be blogging about on a website, and why would a real doctor want to try and rank for global terms when his JOB is servicing local audience?

So you see, in this case, the client will eventually rank for some monster terms but most of that traffic will be wasted due to the fact that someone from Arizona doesn’t want to visit my Boston doctor. The doc has a website, it’s static content, and pretty much run of the mill stuff (who we are, what we do, where we are) so CONTENT didn’t win the day for him here, adding frequent content publishing isn’t what’s making his site do well, so despite what we might hear about content being the biggest baddest thing we should focus on, it’s really not practical nor applicable in all industries.

In this case, scenario, the real business and the real brand WON, NOT content. Real biz, real content, real brand and good solid presence and quality promotion is what does/did the trick here.

SO… think about this stuff… what you do for DIY SEO is dependent upon your business model really. Do you have an affiliate site, then you can write til you’re blue in the face and probably do OK, and maybe churn and burn link building is the way to go here.

Real business and brands don’t necessarily need that, as they have a more focused targeted market and it’s not always found on Google or Bing but more so on Yelp and online yellowpages

Speaking of industry/business-model specific SEO and link building…. there’s people who say that getting 5k wiki links when your competitor has only 200 is a waste of time and un-natural, but I’ve seen ZERO evidence that there’s a backlash to having an unseeemingly larger than competitors’ amount of any one kind of links, The backlash that’s been seen coming form having “too many wikis, edu, social links, etc…) is not from the disparity between the competitors having 200 and your site having 5k of these links, but more to do with how and where and when these links came from, and how long they last, and the velocity they were created in/by… 5k in one month whereas the competitor got 200 natural wiki mentions in last 4 years, for example.

Search is changing, STILL. The only constant is change, CHAOS theory reigns supreme…

Google place sis a freaking mess, big time, ask anyone who’s managing their clients’ Google Places accounts for them and they’ll tell you the same thing. Google search hasn’t recovered its quality search results completely, it’s getting to the point whereby when I search for something I’m heading over to Bing and it’s not much better over there either but eventually I find what I’m looking for by searching for my desired information via specific sites, or just multiple search engines.

What I see happening in not-too distant future is

Google will take over more of the page 1 real estate, with Google Places, videos, G Plus pages, Videos, and of course the PPC ad space. It’s happening now and not a big surprise there to anyone who watches this, but it will end up creating item #2

People will will be looking to brands more often for their information, and by this I mean that Youtube search, Facebook search, or direct on-site search (of trusted sites) will be where people go to for more information.

I’m losing my hair for example. So I Google some information, go through some sites, results, bookmark a few once information overload hits me (for perusal and absorption of the information later on), then I go back to those sites I bookmarked and start refining my search based on information obtained and assimilated form the bookmarked urls. At some point I might see that there’s a doctor in my area who wrote an article on hair loss and now I’m hooked and pre-sold on wanting this guy to stop and possibly reverse my reverse hair follicle velocity, to increase my rankings in the opposite sex’s eyes, (haha?)

Or I forget about this thing for a while, go to a different computer but instead of doing all my research all over again, I head straight for webmd to read up again, or I just Google the Doctors name and maybe he’s in Google place,s or reviewed on Yelp.

What’s going to make my decision easier isn’t Google, but Yelp, WebMd and maybe G Places just to find his phone umber. Yes, Google helped, but WebMD and yelp closed the deal for me, which brings me to the point again,finally…that at some point if search results don’t improve, then there’ll be a situation whereby people will use search to search for brands, specific website urls, and not keywords mainly.

Social has been abused since its inception. When it started it was a place for people to share good stuff, but like anything got ruined as a trusted information source once made into a self-promotion mechanism used for end goal of monetization.

What’s needed now and in future… is another way for true value information to be shared AMONGST and BY trusted people. There’s been many attempts at this but what’s really needed isn’t a public vehicle for this, but something along the lines where top trusted sites do more frequent mentions of other trusted sites’ information and are letting people know about it easily.

In other words, a site-to-site-to-site search engine/mechanism.

Did you know you can create your own search engine using a script and a few collaborating site sin the same niche?

All it takes is a script, a search bar on the collaborating sites, a self-designed algo based on content on the other sites, and a willingness to share on-site traffic with other sites.

But who is willing to send their traffic away purely for informationally altrusitic reasons? Not people with affiliate sites, but the Boston doctor collaborating with the Arizona, California, New york, and Texas doctors in a closed-sites invite-only search engine as described above has no problem sending all his non-useful (non-local) traffic over to the partners. Another reason why brands and real business win.

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