Sunday, 6 January 2013

Updated SEO Tips for Your 2012 Blog

SEO Strategies have changed drastically over the last year or so. Using “old school” techniques on your blog will be ineffective, and in some cases counterproductive. Here are several of the key changes.


Old: Use the same keywords over and over
New: Keyword variation is important
In the old days, we would use the same keyword phrase as anchor text for inbound and internal links over and over. Google is smarter now and looks for variation in root keyword phrases. Using identical anchor text will lead Google to devalue the link. Keep this in mind for new links, and consider tweaking anchor text on existing ones as part of a link reclamation project.

H1 Tags

Old: H1 tags matter
New: H1 tags matter less
Google doesn’t give as much weight to H1 tags as much as it used to. On the other hand, Title tags are still of paramount importance. In the past, bloggers would “double dip” on keywords by skillfully varying the composition of H1 and Title tags, but today that’s probably not the best use of a blogger’s time. H1 tags should still be optimized, but my recommendation for blog posts, for both SEO and social marketing optimization, is to make Title and H1 tags identical.

Reciprocal Links

Old: Reciprocal linking is good
New: Reciprocal linking is bad
Link exchange programs used to be a blogger’s bread and butter for SEO. No more. Google is smart enough to detect these arrangements and now concludes that such links are weaker than unreciprocated ones. As reciprocal links have been devalued, the technique should not be emphasized.

Content Location

Old: Onsite content is everything
New: Offsite content is important
There was a time when bloggers blogged on their blogs, period. While onsite content obviously is still important, bloggers are going offsite to guest-post, in large part for the opportunity to build high quality links to their blogs. This is a powerful technique and one every blogger should consider.


Old: No Google+ to worry about
New: Worry about Google+
Google+ is an SEO game changer. To quickly point out just three areas that bloggers need to be aware of:
  1. Rel=Author links associate a page of content with the author’s Google+ profile. Authors with high authority on Google+ have the potential to rank well for content even if it lives on a lower authority domain.
  2. Google+ content is indexed by Google and displayed prominently in SERPs. This has led some bloggers to produce lengthy, optimized, original content directly onto Google+.
  3. Google’s continuing shift toward personalized search means it will display content from one’s Google+ community in SERPs. This favors bloggers with Google+ influence (however that is determined) and who are in a lot of Circles.
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