As the search industry grows, off site optimization has begun to rely on more than simple backlinks. If you want to increase keyword relevancy for your site and pages, you will need to rely on off page elements.
Last month I spoke with Dan Crow of Google after his presentation to the crowd at an SEMNE event. The question I asked was along the lines of…
“If Google can see images, videos, scripts and hyperlinks you reference on a page — couldn’t they also determine an overall theme to a page based on what they know about these related elements?”
Dan’s answer was an indirect “yes”, and something that many overlook as we get acclimated to Google’s Universal Search.
Let’s say for example that you have a page that sells blue widgets. On your page you have content that covers your brand of blue widgets, their benefits and perhaps some purchasing options. From there though, GoogleBot is done with the research it can perform.
If you were to embed a video (conveniently hosted on Google Video) that shows your blue widgets in action though, Google suddenly knows much more. The information relative to your page now extends on to factors like…
- Who views your video?
- Comments on your video
- Tags your video
- Your video’s title, description, etc.
Now — Video is one of the easier media types to illustrate here for the sake of example. The same holds true for other media as well, and others that come to mind are the ones that litter the Universal SERPs we’re seeing every day.
If you want to build up off page optimization, look to explore things like Google Base, Google Local Business Center, and other Google services like images and blogs.
Tapping these resources is great — but they will do nothing on their own to increase keyword density unless you force their hand. If you’re planning to use Google Video, integrate keywords (that make sense) to your title and description.
The thought there is that as users come through Google Video, search for “Blue Widgets” and get your video. It’s a simple process, but as Google deploys more and more services, you can bet that they’ll draw information from various sources and use that accordingly.
Finally — let’s not be naive enough to think that only Google is doing this. Every day, advancements are being made at the leading search providers. Portals like Yahoo for example have a wealth of information to draw on with their millions of users.
So, if you’re struggling to rank well — don’t keep doing the same things over and over with your on page optimization. Work on off page SEO the way you used to try to develop backlinks, and you’re more likely to find the results you were after.
Involved in the industry since 1999, Eric currently manages organic optimization at a Fortune 500 organization. In addition to contributing here on Search Engine Journal, Eric maintains a blog and consulting business at www.ericlander.com.
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