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To SEO or Not to SEO

Written by | Monday, 30 September 2013 10:00 | Published in 2013 October
To SEO or not to SEO, that is the question! There is a wide variety of views on the topic, whether it is necessary to use specific extensions that improve SEO positioning, if it is a good idea to employ people to help with this and to create strategies etc….or, whether that doing all of this won’t pay off as you are forced to change strategy each time Google makes changes to their SEO policy...

It was only a few weeks ago when Google made changes to various elements that generate SEO positions (Search Engine Optimization). They do this every so often, yet it seems to be happening much more frequently nowadays. And each time, more people are making their voices heard (although admittedly some not very loudly), defending natural or organic SEO against the politics of very elaborate strategies in order to gain a higher position.

The changes that Google have made to their SEO policy

The backlink: The backlink has undergone a great transformation with the algorithm change, as the external links that “some SEO” generated, were mainly directories or had a low pagerank (PR). And remember, if you don’t add links with a high PR, you will avoid the fuss and Google will reward you with a good natural positioning.

Google Maps: Next up it’s Google’s beloved invention Google Maps that is going to be targeted in the following months, above all at a “local SEO level”. A couple of weeks ago Google sent an email announcing that in August, the smartphone app Google “Local” will be retired. In the email, they explained briefly that it would be possible to “verify” and look for places with Google Maps. This means that Google Maps will move into a stronger position alongside Google+ and, of course, search results.

Google Adwords: Clearly, one of Google’s priorities is to give clients who use Adwords a better position. The same goes for any of their own applications, Google Authoring, Google Adwords, Google+ already integrate with +1, comments, etc…

New domains: Also a new specialization of domains at a local level will be introduced. We aren’t aware fully of how this will affect SEO, but evidently it will affect it, perhaps more at a local level, rather than global. A new “craze” has arrived, domain specialization. And it seems that Google is at the forefront, creating Blogger and specific addresses for each country.

And...it is said, that external links like the global website www.econsumer.gov will  “discredit” a website. Its a rumour, but as the saying goes, there is no smoke…

But… is it advisable to follow crazes with regards to SEO positioning?

There are things that have never changed...and I don’t think that they will change. We believe that good content marketing and a natural organic position optimization is enough to place a site ahead of the any craze and aggressive strategies, that, if not handled with extreme delicacy, could cause more damage to positioning instead of helping.

seo-natural

So how can you improve and optimize your organic position?

On an internal level

  • With improvements to content. Quality content, as they say on Wikipedia “Content is King”.  A good example of this would be the 5GBFree Blog, they are in the hosting space yet driving quality content to their readers that encompases what they need to know for hosting.  By engaging their users with quality content they have helped readers enjoy good posts that help them understand more about hosting.

  • Technical improvements to the code. That it is clear and well defined with defined internal links. Make sure to use “metas” in the correct way (don’t use too many words and keep definitions clear and concise). Using a “site map” facilitates both site visitors and robots in their search for a page. Ensure the correct use of headers and keep the most important content in the top half of the site...Things that can are quite simple that are needed so that visitors can navigate the site with ease.

  • Accessibility. Remember that all people need to be able to read and understand clearly what you want to communicate on your site. Think about what a human can read, robots will be able to read the same :)

  • Transparency. Avoid where possible, techniques that don’t allow tracking (Java, etc), a trustworthy server, a simple short and clear domain that defines the function of the site (if possible)...

On an external level

  • Connect, with regards to links, with other sites with a similar or related theme to yours, and that the links are inkeeping with the words used in the “metas”

  • Be present on social networks. And of course, what Google values above all is presence on Google Plus (surprising that!)

  • To participate on blogs and websites writing articles. It’s an effective way of obtaining more visits, and therefore it improves the site’s visibility as well as the SEO.

So, if you follow all these guidelines, the site will be well placed, without unnecessary effort and without having to add extensions that will slow down the site.

Translated from the original Spanish article http://magazine.joomla.org/es/ediciones-anteriores/sept-2013/item/1503-seo-si-seo-no by Manuel Rubio

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Victoria Stone

Victoria Stone

A graduate from the University of Kent 2013 in French and Spanish, translating articles from Spanish to English voluntarily for Joomla! Community Magazine.