Let’s face it, search engine optimization as we know it is an ever-evolving, not dying, art. Gone are the days of simply throwing up a couple targeted keywords, dumping a ton load of miscellaneous backlinks and walking straight to the bank. Google is winning the battle against search engine manipulation slowly but surely. Though the vast majority of us are so mad at Google for it’s actions against web spam through algorithmic changes and direct penalization against particular website, we need to remember: a) Google is a private company and not a public service – they can do whatever they want with their toys and b) they’re in this for the long-run to make profits and please shareholders. How dare we demand anything from Google! I may sound like I have a stake in the company, defending them, but I don’t. I’m just facing the facts.
Instead of whining about the all-powerful Google we should be focused on our business of blogging and online marketing, and how we can grow and evolve with the times. SEO is rough and now is the time to innovate and be deliberate with everything we do with our blogs.
The SEO Expert of the Future
The search engine optimization expert of the future will need to be more than an SEO. Google is ensuring that no one can solely game the search engines to make profits. Sure there are still some very lucrative niche markets that are still waiting to be tapped but SEO alone won’t cut it. The new SEO expert will need to be a designer, or have an eye for design, social media marketer, brand manager, writer and advertiser. This is evident because Google’s algorithms are leaning towards popularity, relevance and authority. Achieving all cannot be done by doing SEO alone.
The new SEO expert will need to create genuine buzz and interest around their products and their clients’ by launching effective marketing campaigns that bring greater value to the end user. Your blog should not be a random splash of topics but be the result of a deliberate and well thought out campaign which brings value while monetizing. It’s not going to be about keywords and search engines alone.
Anticipating Google’s Algorithm Changes
Google’s changes aren’t very difficult to predict. Every move they’ve made is towards offering a better search experience for users. Look at every activity on the web with an unbiased approach and you’ll have an idea of where Google is going. Take, for example, the recent action against guest blogging and the My Blog Guest site in particular. Although I’d say that the penalty was a bit harsh but all around the web you see the abuse of guest blogging, plagued with spammers. The more popular these techniques become, the more they are spammed and shortly after Google has its day. It had to be done.
As you go about link-building and promoting your blog, ask yourself whether or not you’re providing value or are you just littering the web. Don’t be tempted to give into any shady schemes, it will go against you in the long run.
Where Your Blog Should be in 5 Years
As I’ve said repeatedly, there aren’t any get rich quick schemes any more. The market is maturing and it’s time to start thinking long-term with a business mindset. Be aware of SEO and keyword research, but the bigger picture is:
- Whether you’re providing real value for your readers.
- Are you building a brand that can be respected and followed?
- How can you monetize your blog in a viable and respectable manner by creating products and service unique to you?
- Are you building relationships with the people you encounter online?
- Do you have systems in place geared towards retaining visitors and not treating them as one-off sales or clicks?
These are the ideas you need to be focusing on. In a previous article, Networking & Insight – Absolute Necessities for New Bloggers to Improve their Blogs in 2014, I talked about building relationships and networking to increase visibility for your blog. Communities like VigLink’s Publisher Roundtable become of greater importance. Not only because of the insight and research they offer for us bloggers but the forum is a powerful environment to learn and make your mark early in your game. I cannot stress enough on the results of a VigLink’s poll they are continuously conducting which gives us a real idea of what’s happening in the blogosphere where social media, earnings, SEO and other opportunities are concerned. Take advantage of these resources.
Begin building a foundation of excellence and value now, not later. If not, your blog / business isn’t worth it. It’s a waste of your time.