What Every Business Owner Should Know About SEO?

This meant that a lot of the software and techniques SEO companies had been investing in not only became useless, but in many cases resulted in penalization for their sites and their clients' sites.

SEO - search engine optimisation - remains a mystery to many business owners in New Zealand. If you've taken the time to learn about it, you've probably heard of businesses boosting their sales considerably by tapping into what's essentially 'free' traffic from Google. You've probably also heard stories on the other side of the equation - businesses who poured money into SEO and ended up with little or nothing to show for it, even getting their websites penalized and losing business in the process.

To make sure your SEO attempts bring you out on the winning side over the next 12 months, here are the key essentials you need to know - whether you're doing your own SEO, or you want to keep an eye on your provider to make sure they're sticking to best practices.

Google Just Changed the Game

Six months ago, SEO professionals were laughing at Google. Spammers had figured out how to cheat the system with great consistency - and website owners who played by the rules were left frustrated as their rankings struggled.

But Google always gets the last laugh. They introduced new algorithm updates - by the cute and cuddly names of Penguin and Panda - which effectively dealt with many of the most fashionable spam tactics.

This meant that a lot of the software and techniques SEO companies had been investing in not only became useless, but in many cases resulted in penalization for their sites and their clients' sites.

The thrust of Panda and Penguin was essentially to get rid of ranking websites that seemed unnatural. Panda was a content quality update, whereas Penguin was about penalizing 'over optimisation' - meaning websites that had clearly done 'too much SEO.'

Which begs the question - is your website 'natural enough,' and how would you know?

What Is Natural?

Let's first take a look at how Google might peg a site as unnatural in terms of 'on-page SEO' - the words on your site itself.

In the course of a normal web page, it's natural for a bunch of different words and phrases to appear repeated several times. These keywords will be related to the market or topic you're writing about. A few repetitions of the same words and phrases, or close synonyms, is natural.

However, if the exact same three-word phrase is repeated multiple times in your META Title, you META Description, your headlines and a dozen times in the space of 300 words of copy - that is not natural.

The page is clearly written in order to game the search engine - not for the user experience.

This has always been something of a no-no with Google - but they just got a whole lot better at targeting and penalizing sites who do it.

Unnatural Links

The biggest way a bad SEO company can get your website in trouble is bad linking practices.

Penguin was heavily about bad links. In the past, having bad links couldn't hurt you - Google just disregarded them altogether. But with the Penguin update, for the first time links pointing to your site from elsewhere on the web can actually get you penalized.

If your SEO company uses 'old school' linking practices, this could be very bad news for you. Many linking practices that were wildly effective up until recently will now lead to a virtually guaranteed Google penalty. Here are some bad practices to watch out for:

 Links coming from spammy looking sites which are obviously 'bought links'
 Links coming from 'spun' articles (gibberish content in which the same sentences have been mixed up by automated software)
 Links coming from pages with thousands of other links (sometimes called links farms)
 Lots of reciprocal links (links that require you to also link back to the other website)

Here are a few of the kinds of link building strategies that will work and are safe from now on:

 Article links from real, informative articles
 Links from syndicated press releases
 Links from guest articles posted on relevant, authoritative websites
 One-way links from related websites (such as bloggers in your market)
 Active social media accounts linking to you
 Linking a Google+ account to your website

If your SEO provider is on the spammy side of the fence: beware. Their tactics may work for now but the next Google update could see you wiped out. Google sent a clear message in 2012: they will actively update their algorithm regularly to eliminate spam techniques, and it's now impossible for SEO spammers to stay ahead of the game.

Tom McSherry is the director of Premium SEO NZ, a white-hat search engine optimisation company which utilises top quality content marketing for safe and effective traffic increases.


Categories: Web 2.0, Internet

Tags: Premium SEO NZ

About www.premiumseo.co.nz

View Website

Saidur Rahman