SEO Tactics for 2011/2012

Search engines are constantly evolving and updating the ways they rank webpages according to variables like links, backlinks, keywords and phrases, on-page and off-page content, how long a site has been around, how often it is updated, physical location and much more.

The goal of search engines is not to help you, the webpage or blog owner, get ranked higher.

Their goal is to provide searchers with the most relevant information possible, first, given the keywords or phrases entered into a search. With that in mind, here are some ways to improve your search rankings:
  1. Provide Unique, Quality Content
    Copying content is the cardinal sin of optimization, and sites have been blacklisted for this practice. The second worst transgression is irrelevant content. Yes, a lot of people search for “porn” for instance, but if you sell shoe laces linking to or from this ever-popular term will hurt, not help your searchability. The trick is to as much as possible, treat your search engines like people. People don’t like being fooled or lied to and neither do these search engines.
  2. Guest Post
    Again providing relevant and unique content, find blogs in your niche and provide content for them with a link at the end of the content. There are sites that invite this openly to bloggers in a niche, so check those out, and create relationships with bloggers so you can exchange guest posts.
  3. Quality Before Quantity
    Having a lot of content still helps, but more so over time. In fact a hundred new links overnight will “scare” search engines initially, and they will look for plagiarized and spun content within. One good link with great original content on a site with authority is worth hundreds of poorly written irrelevant links. Instead get one great piece of content and share it with others.
  4. Avoid Automated Services
    There has yet to be built a computer that can even come close to mimicking a human being writing stuff. This doesn’t stop many from trying though, and they will even charge you for this horrible service. Automated content offers the reader nothing of value, hurts your brand image if it is stumbled upon by a real human, and search engines hate it.
  5. Get To Know Other Bloggers
    There are hundreds of millions of blogs, and chances are many of these are in your niche. Say hi, ask to guest post and allow them to do the same. These symbiotic relationships are a great boost to your searchability if the content is of high quality and unique and if each site has some authority. Comment as well as guest post if you see an article you like, always saying something useful.
  6. Social Networks
    The major ones right now are Facebook and Twitter, and if you are a B2B industry LinkedIn is also a quality source. Create your page and offer good content and updates, just as you would a blog. Invite others and visit others in your niche, “liking” their content when applicable, and asking them to do the same for you. In addition, when you friend someone on a social network and they choose to “follow” you they can automatically be notified of updates to your blog, increasing the likelihood of more visits, and visits from those who actually want to read your content.
Building online presence takes time and effort, but it is very rewarding as well, when done the right way. There really is no shortcut to long-term success however, so avoid bots, irrelevant posts, automated systems and other black hat tactics and stick to the suggestions provided above.

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