Greg Boser, the SVP of Search for BlueGlass Interactive and former president of 3 Dog Media, just finished speaking at PubCon on the latest topics and trends in SEO. The following are my notes from his excellent presentation:
1. Site Quality vs. Page Quality — Google is no longer “page” focused and is now focused on domains
While speaking about site quality, Boser said:
“The days of Google determining what will or won’t rank primarily based on page-level analysis are gone. Overall content performance is the key!”
Even if you are not a spammer, the Panda update may have hit your search rankings due to accidental mistakes. For example, it is vitally important to monitor user generated content and ensure that content on your domain is in line with your brand message and high quality. A high quantity of poor quality content on your domain can cause Google to devalue your authoritative content.
It is vitally important that webmasters take the time to understand how content is performing. The questions below will help webmasters better understand this critical issue:
What is the ratio between total pages indexed and the total number of organic landing pages?
What is the ratio between total pages indexed and the total number of deep links?
Most content issues will be related to poor canonicalization or lack of proper access control plan. Use the following to ensure your content is properly controlled:
- Rel Canonical
- Robots Exclusion
- Parameter Exclusions (Web Master Tools)
2. Human Engagement Signals
There is an increasing amount of data that shows a shift from “traditional” SEO to social (human engagement) signals. Google recently acquired PostRank, a metric similar to PageRank for social, which indicates how important human engagement is to the Google algorithm. Part of the reason that Google is trying to do a better job of analyzing human engagement is due to people sharing links through social networks instead of blogs or sites.
To improve human engagement, focus efforts on the following:
- Build consistent engagement signals to your content
- Develop links from pages/domains with consistent engagement signals
3. Backlink Diversity – Brute Force is Dead!
It is no longer a viable strategy to focus on building exact match anchor text links to rank for a term. Instead, it is important that your anchor text strategy focus on building a natural footprint using the following guidelines:
- No exact-match in the first 6 months after launching a new site (branded/domain links only)
- Use synonyms and related phrases instead of exact match (don’t be so obvious!)
- Use branded partial matches (the company name with a generic phrase)