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SEO in 2013 - reacting to change

Robert Wakefield - Wednesday, June 05, 2013

As Google becomes fussier, all SEO companies have had to sharpen up their acts. SEO still plays a vital role in web marketing and probably always will, so it's even more important that SEO companies fully understand what Google wants to see.

SEO for Google in 2013

It was really not until 2011 that we started to see how Google was prepared to radically change its search algorithms in order to provide what it calls 'better search quality'. Understandably, Google takes search quality very seriously - after all, it has over 65% of total search traffic. We believe the reason that 'Google' has become synonymous with 'search' is that most users consider Google to be a better search experience.

The changes we've seen (we're talking Pandas and Penguins here) have proved very taxing for all SEO companies, especially for those that were using 'Black Hat' methods to cheat search engines into promoting inferior sites. Even the very best SEO companies have had to take serious time out in order to revise and tweak their methodologies if they are to comply with the latest demands by the world's search leader.

At wysi, we've been working tirelessly for the last few months to determine exactly what it is that Google needs to see in order to promote genuine, professionally-built websites. We decided that the only way to work out what worked and what did not was to conduct split testing across some non-client accounts. This helped us to almost 'see inside Google' - comparing sites that had intensive on-site optimisation but relatively little off-site activity with those have had a regular blend of good on-site improvements, fresh on-site content, and good off-site SEO, such as high quality backlinking, external content published to blogs and related sites, PR releases, and other activities.

We'll never claim to know everything about Google but we firmly believe we have a far better understanding of what works, and what doesn't. This was vitally important not only for us as a proactive SEO company, but also for our clients who (understandably) would not wish to pay us for SEO activities that did not improve their own website visibility.

The result of this hands-on research has resulted in some fairly major advancements in both our process and our infrastructure - not to mention the positive results we're now seeing across many client sites. Firstly, we've had to redefine our processes; the type of work we do has been extended dramatically, and the tools we use have had to grow in proportion to the increased workloads. We decided not to do things in half measures and we now have what we consider to be the most advanced SEO management tools available. This includes a superb content distribution platform which enables us to publish high quality content to our clients' sites as well as to a number of trusted and respected sites (with backlinks to our client's websites). We've also doubled the number of professional content writers (based in the UK). These writers have a background in journalism and professional authoring - most are published authors. This is important to us because Google is now all about quality, and that extends to the quality of the written content.

Content writing nows plays a far greater role in our day-to-day SEO activities. Fresh content - well written and of genuine human interest - substantially increases website visibility. Much of it gets shared across the social media platforms and starts to go viral. We see content marketing as having many facets: it helps to increase the keyword density across the domain, sending signals to the search engines that the domain is extremely relevant for these keywords; it distributes interesting and informative content via external channels (such as social media); it increases brand awareness/ company profile; it helps to build a valuable content library on the website.

In summary, SEO seems to have done a 360; "Once upon a time...." there was the Internet and content was really all that was needed to secure high positions on the search engines. Then along came Google; it was fussier and SEO immediately became harder: SEOs needed to optimise for different search engines in different ways. Backlinking was all the rage and poor quality websites started to rank highly due to huge quantities of spammy backlinks. 2013 - Google decides enough is enough and drops the Penguin 2.0 bomb (May 21st.) Suddenly, quality content becomes more significant (again).

The Wysi Partnership, based in Thatcham, near Newbury, Berkshire, offer content writing and content marketing services as part of our multi-channel digital marketing and SEO monthly services. To find out more about how content marketing can bring you more leads, traffic, sales and customers please drop us a line or call us on 03301 222 152 to discuss.

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