Preface: Increasing exposure of an existing online asset is tough, almost as tough as getting that first market push for a new business underway.
For much of the last 10 years Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was loosely defined as: optimizing your website content (verbiage, Meta data, naming conventions) for maximum keyword relevancy, and the procurement of relevant incoming links.
English: Make sure your website content is relevant to the topic, and get people to link to you. If you packed in enough keywords, and built enough links (quantity) regardless of quality, rankings came easy.
Fast forward to today. SEO is about TRUST, and Trust shall set you free.
It is still very important to optimize your content and ensure that you are utilizing on page factors for building relevancy. But now SEO is really a game of trust. For a website to rank well, it needs to be deemed trustworthy. TrustRank as it is sometimes called is a way of assigning value to a website, the higher the value, the higher it will rank.
â€œPageRank is to The Bubble Up Theory as TrustRank is the Trickle Down Theory. Google chooses [x] number of sites it trusts as a seed, and let’s the TrustRank flow down through other sites via on page references (links)” says Chris Hooley, a leading name in the SEO field.
Links are the primary method of passing trust, and gaining trusted inbound links is the primary way of building top search engine rankings. Chris makes a further economics analogy:
â€œThink of links as cash. Link Equity. Now think of them in light of those two ways economists look at the flow of cash. You need to accumulate lots of links to PUSH your market position up, and you need to collect big, fat, trustworthy, important links to PULL your market position up. Links can be viewed as currency, and link marketing is no different than brand marketing. It’s just the way we measure the effectiveness that differs. Gaining market share, or gaining link share.â€?
So according to Chris, building trust is the golden chalice of top search engine rankings. So how does one go about getting these links from trusted sites? Enter stage left: Linkbaiting. Odd word but very important concept. Iâ€™ll let link guru Todd Malicoat define it.
â€œLinkbaiting is all about the bait. In the same way that you canâ€™t catch a giant tuna with a bag of Doritos – youâ€™re not going to get the attention of important bloggers, journalists, or other folks with some garbage content or news.â€?
What Todd is saying is simple: write/publish something worth linking to. He goes on to describe â€œLinkbait Hooksâ€? or methods to present information that can be used to attract the attention of a link happy audience.
To summarize then. Todayâ€™s SEO game is not about stuffing your website full of keywords. To build solid rankings you need to create content that is worthy of being linked too by other websites that are already deemed to have Trust. They pass this trust on to your website, and little by little your website climbs the charts like the latest Justin Timberlake Album
So how does this all work for the average small business in Middle America in need of website traffic? Stay tuned for Part Deux for the answer.
Author: Joshua Strebel – President Obu Web Technologies a leading web design agency.