Content, Backlinks and SEO

I went to a marketing workshop last week which was put on by a person who was a marketing expert, but someone who clearly does not have much expertise in the Google equation of digital. Overall, I was quite impressed with the content of the workshop, it was well run and informative. But I was disappointed with the information presented on the Google side of things, particularly SEO and AdWords. So I thought I’d write this post (and the next post on her AdWords “advice”) incase you’ve received similar information.

Her premise was that the Google penguin changes basically broke the need for building backlinks in optimising your website for search marketing. Her proof was that after blogging for 5 years, after the Penguin 2.0 changes, she now ranked on page 1 for a couple of search phrases. Wow – I can imagine pitching that to a client. “You want to get to page 1 of Google – no problem. Lets blog for 5 years then we should be there for a handful of phrases”.

This is insane. SEO really is a results driven strategy. Its scientific. You follow the science and you get solid page 1 Google positions in a reasonably timely fashion. There is no reason a professional marketing consultant could not rank their business page 1 for 20 – 30 keywords in 3 – 6 months, if following the science.

So what is the science? Well, today, without getting too technical, there are three broad parts to SEO. These are:

  • Amazing content – all SEO work must start (but not finish) with amazing content that is presented optimally on your website, with all meta information done well. 
  • A naturally developed backlink profile consistent with Google’s quality guidelines
  • Obtaining social proof

Google’s Penguin and Panda changes did not remove the need for any of these items, rather they were and are aimed at cleaning up the junk being published (both with website content and link building techniques) and encouraging people to focus on quality every time. You need quality information on your website. You need quality content updates through your blog. You need to share this information through your social networks, who hopefully will be full of quality people AND you need to build your backlink profile on quality sites, within quality information and in line with Google’s quality guidelines.

Without a quality link building strategy, you still just will not rank.

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