How To Win A Gold Medal With Your SEO? Part 1/2

How can you win a gold medal with your SEO?

That’s an apropos question, considering that the Olympics are fresh in our minds and because SEO has changed significantly this year (more on this later).

When considering the question, however, think of a gold medal as maximizing the visibility of your website based on the resources at your disposal.

In his insightful blog post “Is Your SEO Guru a Mathematician or a Content Marketer?” Kevin Jorgensen of Innovative Marketing Resources argues that the traditional SEO strategy of being No. 1 on Google for select keywords and keyword phrases may not be the best one for many organizations.

That is, for many organizations, the traditional SEO strategy isn’t the path to a gold medal.

Why? Because the rules have changed.

Now, if you are relying on traditional techniques this may be a scary proposition. But rules changes can also be opportunities in competitive situations, especially if your competitors are slow to adapt. This is the case when it comes to SEO.

So, if a traditional SEO strategy isn’t the path to a gold medal, what is?

Due to being the dominant search engine, Google in large part determines what is successful or what isn’t. It’s akin to there being one single judge in gymnastics, diving or any other sport that is scored using judging. Do what Google values and you will be rewarded.

SEO, however, is not gymnastics or diving. It’s much more complicated. For one thing, web pages receive a different score and rank for every topic. Plus, as Jorgensen points out, Google’s rankings of web pages for a given keyword or keyword phrase vary across different users based on a variety of factors.

This leads Jorgensen to his ultimate conclusion: Produce great content and you will be rewarded. This is how you win your SEO gold medal.
So if you have one mathematically, hyper-optimized page in the top ten, is that better than having 5 solid content pages in the top 20 when it comes to visibility and lead generation?” Jorgensen writes. “There is something very attractive and reassuring to a prospect who finds 5 solid pieces of your content on the 1st and 2nd Google results pages. The take away here is that more great content can beat out one piece of SEO hyper-optimized content.
Earlier we wrote that SEO has changed significantly this year. It is doing this by rewarding “great content” with high search rankings. In his blog, Jorgensen used the following quote by Google’s head of webspam, Matt Cutts, at SXSW 2012:
Normally we don’t sort of pre-announce changes, but there is something that we’ve been working on in the last few months. And hopefully, in the next couple months or so, in the coming weeks, we hope to release it. ... So all those people who have sort of been doing, for lack of a better word, 'over optimization' or 'overly' doing their SEO, compared to the people who are just making great content and trying to make a fantastic site, we want to sort of make that playing field a little bit more level.”
The changes are through Penguin, the algorithm update announced in April that is aimed at decreasing rankings of websites that use “black hat” SEO techniques such as irrelevant keywords and links. And one has to believe that Google engineers and programmers are only going to get better at rewarding sites with lots of good content with high search results, and conversely at punishing those that lack good content.

The point by now should be clear, but here it is, big and bold: IF YOU WANT TO MAXIMIZE THE VISIBILITY OF YOUR WEBSITE, YOU NEED TO HAVE LOTS OF GREAT CONTENT.

Check out Part II of this post on Thursday for suggestions and strategies for developing content.

Post written by HRmarketer / SocialEars staff member Eric Anderson.

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