This post is somewhat delayed but I wanted to share with everyone some of the key things I learnt from the SMX which took place Tuesday the 15th of May and Wednesday the 16th of May.
I was fortunate to be a blogging partner for SMX London. The event was really well organised by Jackie Bliss and her team, the food was fantastic and it was in an excellent venue – Stamford Bridge – home to Chelsea Football Club.
The hot topic over the two days was Penguin which was understandable as many people had seen their site drop in rankings since the update. In my last post about Penguin I wrote about the fact that it is the little brother of Panda and is a way for Google to eradicate spam on the internet, although I still see a lot of it.
Here are just a few areas you need to address if your site has been affected:
1) Use Rel=Author
Google is trying to get rid of a faceless web which is why it is so important to use rel=author tags. There is still a lot of articles being written about this topic, Econsultancy just wrote one about how to set up rel=author on Friday. If you have delayed doing this, this week is when you need to ensure you have your rel=author tags correctly set up.
2) Anaylse your backlinks
It is really important to check who is linking to you. If your site has many links from a spam site, this will affect your rankings Use link development tools such as <a href=”http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/”>open site explorer from SEOmoz </a>to analyse your backlinks to you. If you can see the spam sites or those sites you feel are practicing black hat and therefore affecting your own rankings, you need to contact them and ask them to remove the link. Unfortunately this is a manual process and can take some time. If have a couple of email exchanges, they have not removed the link to your site, contact Google.
3) Analyse your anchor text
Sites that have unnatural links would be penalised by the Panda update. What does “unnatural mean”? It means having “exact match” for anchor text on key terms for all your backlinks. Most of this applies to those people who have bought “exact match” anchor text. It is important to focus on the long tail search as well as brand plus your key terms.
Links still play a key role in SEO, but now it will be on quality over quantity. If your client continues to ask for the number of links built each month, try and get them to think about where they are coming from which is more important. If you have been contacting just a couple of bloggers a month, increase this to at least 4 or 5 (depending on the budget). Find out what content people want on their site before you write the article. If you write a post which people are interested in, it is more likely to be shared by others.
If you are working with an seo agency for link building, make sure they are writing quality content for the user and only for the user (not just to get a link). This will naturally build backlinks, because if people like what they read, they are more likely to share it. Although Google were unable to confirm this at SMX, some of the other studies carried out and presented at the Expo showed that there was a correlation between the location of a site in the SERPs and its social profile. It was more likely to rank higher if it had more social shares.