Post Penguin SEO – Don’t hunt for links, instead plant and grow them naturally!

It has been a while since we are dealing with the Google panda and penguin update and the minor refresh after that. The Internet is abuzz with news that this is probably the end of SEO marketing. To all those doomsday predictors… this one’s for you!

I agree that Google hates unnatural link building to the same degree as it hates spammy links. But if you were to implement strategies that get natural links, I think you’re in safe zone. I know what you are thinking right now “everyone says natural links, but how to obtain them?” Here’s how to:

The days when you hunted for links are over! Now you have to plant them, water them and grow them “Naturally!”

Before the Google penguin update was made on 24th April,  SEO mainly focused on getting the maximum number oflinks as quick as possible to gain the love of the search engines. It didn’t matter where you get the links or how you get them. All it mattered was if the links were from anchor text keywords. After the penguin update, all these still matter but with on rule: The number of links should be increasing naturally and the nature of the links should not be overly anchor texts. Here are few tips to do that:

Planting the links in the right spots

In order to grow the links naturally, you have to plant them in the right spots. This is where diversification of content comes into play. Diversification of content helps in expanding the spots where you can obtain links. For example, if you are just producing quality articles and including links in them, your reach is limited to a bunch of article directories. On the other hand, produce well written articles, blogs, press releases, great infographics, video content etc and you have an opportunity to spread your links across various platforms. The main advantage of spreading links across various platforms is that your link profile would be organic. Your website would never get penalized for over optimization of anchor text links.

Just publishing different types of content in various spots doesn’t grow the number of links by itself. You need to provide a little support to these published contents to grow naturally. For example, social bookmarking is one popular SEO strategy that can be used to gain extra exposure to any type of published content. You could also share them in the social media sites such as facebook, twitter and Google plus to grab the attention of the social media crowd. Here is a short clip from a video QnA session by Matt Cutts (The distinguished Google Engineer) on this extra promotion Once the extra SEO done to these published content takes its effect, all you have to do is to sit back and watch the links grow naturally.

Natural growth of the links

Now you have great content which is presented to a huge audience. Depending on the quality and catchiness, the content would spread virally into the social media and gets syndicated naturally by other surfers. Each and every share or syndication of your content is equal to a natural link that is generated to your website.

So here is the key to grow links naturally:

Seed = Great, diversified content

Plantation spots = SEO spots where you publish different types of content

Watering the plants = SEO and social media marketing for the published content

Natural growth = Viral social shares and natural syndication

From Search Engine Inclusion to Search Engine Optimization

In the late 1990’s & very early 2000’s terms like Search Engine Inclusion & Search Engine Submission gained parlance. Search engines had Submission forms, to which Webmasters would submit a Website for getting indexed by the Search Engines ( I remember for AltaVista, you could only submit up to 5 URLs of a Website) . Website owners would then add tags to their pages & even add the keywords they wanted to rank for, and a bot from Search Engines would then index those pages. Due to reasons like spamming, etc., this practice was discontinued and eventually gave way to purely Crawler-based Search engines.

Since 2001, with the emergence of Crawler-based Search Engines, the process of Search engine submission is not required & it is actually a useless exercise. The better way would be to earn Inbound or back-links from other Websites. However, even today we have Submission pages for Yahoo !, Google & Bing ( the odd man out, has no Submission page. Instead it indexes Websites using other links on the web).

However, the concept of Search Engine Inclusion was alive till around 2004. During that time, if you wanted to include a Website in Yahoo’s index you had to pay to Inktomi. i.e., it was paid Inclusion, to be specific. After Inktomi’s ( Yahoo had acquired Inktomi earlier ) natural death, the concept of Paid Inclusion in Crawler-based Search Engines had taken a beating. Today, it is free to get a website indexed in Crawler-based Search Engines, like Google, Yahoo, Bing & Ask.

The acronym SEO was coined, before 2000. However, the term Search Engine Optimization became popular after 2002. I remember in the year 2001, I found it very hard to get (and failed…) an investor for my SEO firm. The investor was very skeptical about the art( or Science? ) of SEO & repeatedly told me that SEO will die & something else will come in its place. However, even after 10 years now, SEO is alive & kicking with no signs of decline in the immediate future.

SEO is defined as a process by which a website is promoted online. A SEO-friendly website is easily indexed and ranked by the Search Engines which makes its probable customers find the website easily. There are a lot of techniques involved in the process of SEO and getting them to implement is another huge task. Unfortunately, over the past 12 years, a great number of misconceptions have emerged about how the search engines operate and what’s required to perform effectively.

The journey from Search Engine Inclusion to Search Engine Optimization was not easy. With the advent of Social Media, the Search Engine Algorithms seems to have been altered to favour a Website having a good presence in the Social Media. Presently, Social Media Optimization(SMO) and Search Engine Optimization(SEO) are becoming more and more interlinked. It follows that if somebody has to be proficient in SEO one must also have a strong grasp of the Social Media as well.

If today, you get a mail from a purported SEO firm offering Search Engine Inclusion & Search engine submission services, run away !

Why to outsource your SEO requirements ?

Outsourcing is an invaluable tool & can offer a lot of benefits for small as well as large businesses.
If you have been involved in any type of business, you know what it is all about.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your visibility in Search Engines. SEO is part of your Marketing campaign and without a doubt those who implement proper SEO techniques, will outrank those that do not.

Doing SEO in-house may require knowledge of special skills & lot of effort on your part. Search engines algorithms changes constantly and while there may be some factors that remain important and unchanged, there is always the matter of what works today may simply cease to work tomorrow.

If your business already, has a systematic work process, you can take it to higher levels by outsourcing SEO. Outsourcing SEO relieves you from all sorts of worries. You save time & energy and use resources optimally for better results.

However, you cannot do SEO outsourcing without knowing what you are doing. Patience is required with SEO outsourcing because you will not see instant results.

Why SEO should be outsourced ?

• SEO outsourcing is cost effective, easy and risk-free. Outsourcing SEO means that you get a team for less cost.

• SEO outsourcing enables you to outsource the services to experts.

• Your marketing focus should be on your core business area instead of SEO. Outsourcing SEO can save your valuable time.

• SEO firms will not be affected by the pressures of day-to -day running of an Enterprise and thus can focus only on the SEO of your web site.

• An SEO firm has the varied experience of working on a number of SEO projects and this knowledge and experience can only help your site’s SEO. With SEO Outsourcing, you know that every aspect of your campaign is being managed with Guidelines of Search Engines in mind.

• You do not have the time to worry about optimizing your website. You have tried doing SEO yourself, and yet nothing seems to work.

• You are not in touch with the latest news & happenings in the Search Engine world that may affect your Search rankings. SEO tactics are changing at an exceedingly high speed.

• SEO is a continuous process, which requires professional handling and a lot of time. Implementing SEO strategies requires continuous and rigorous research.

• Outsourcing SEO services will help in promotion of your website through various media. Outsourcing SEO services provide you with regular updates on the performance of your Competitors.

• SEO requires a number of tools like Web Analytics Software etc., If you plan to do SEO In-house, then you need to acquire these tools. This can be expensive.

• SEO firms operate with a large number of customers. Hence, they have the expertise of operating on distinct varieties of businesses.

• If you do in-house SEO, resource allocation can be limited due to the company’s limitations. By outsourcing SEO, one can obtain the maximum resources for your SEO process.

Thus, it is better to outsource SEO, rather than doing it yourself.

Panda Update & Google’s Algorithm

More Social & less Search seems to be the new mantra of the Search Marketing Industry.  In this post, I will be talking about the changes to Google’s Algorithm & Panda Update.

Since,  February 24, 2011 many major & minor changes are happening to the Google’s Algorithm.These changes are collectively dubbed as the Panda Updates. ( The Word Panda comes from the name of a Google Engineer  called Navneet Panda)

According to Google, the Panda Update (also known as Farmer Update)  was just one of roughly 500 search improvements,  Google expects to roll out in 2011. Panda Update was a major change  in Google’s Algorithm. This Update  was aimed at identifying low-quality pages and sites.

After the first Panda Update, Google had a major battle with Websites that are often called Content Farms & degraded them in Google Search Engine Result Pages(SERPs).   According to Google, Content farms may have text that is relevant for a Search query, but it may not provide the best user experience.

Google said:

Our goal is simple: to give people the most relevant C4040-124 answers to their queries as quickly as possible. This requires constant tuning of our algorithms, as new content—both good and bad—comes online all the time.

Many of the changes we make are so subtle that very few people notice them. But in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what’s going on. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.

We can’t make a major improvement without affecting rankings for many sites. It has to be that some sites will go up and some will go down. Google depends on the high-quality content created by wonderful websites around the world, and we do have a responsibility to encourage a healthy web ecosystem. Therefore, it is important for high-quality sites to be rewarded, and that’s exactly what this change does.

Let me tell you, on a Personal front how Panda Update has impacted me.  I used to hire 2 Content writers & they were both working Long-distance for me.  As, a immediate C4040-221 consequence of the Panda Update, both of  them lost their jobs with me.  Not only they, but thousands of Online Content Writers around the world have seen a reduction of their job opportunities.

Now, let me tell you what these Content Writers used to do for me.  As part of the Off-page Optimization process of Search Engine Optimization(SEO) we used to write Keyword-rich content articles & submit the articles to numerous Article Submission sites like, Ezine Articles, Articlesbase, ArticleSnatch etc.,  The reason Article Submission was a great way to get back links for a web site.

Immediately after the first Panda Update on February 24, 2011, I experienced that  some of the sites of my client actually  went down in Google SERPs.  The reason duplicate content. As, I  told earlier we used to write an article & submit the same article to numerous  Article Submission sites. So, this content was considered duplicate as per Panda Update. Additionally, Google also devalued these Article Submission sites in SERPs.

The Google Algorithm seems to have been again altered to favour a Website having a good presence in the Social Media.  So, today newer techniques like Social Bookmarking is important for SEO. As, told earlier SEO techniques like Article Submission have taken a back seat.

Presently, Social Media Optimization(SMO) and Search Engine Optimization(SEO) are becoming more and more interlinked.  It follows that if somebody has to be proficient in SEO one must also have a strong grasp of the Social Media as well.