I recently gave a presentation to 50 CMOs of large enterprises about the changing landscape in digital marketing. A section on advanced search engine optimization drove especially strong engagement and curiosity from the smart crowd. Some key take-aways include:
1. ATTACK OF THE PENGUIN
Google’s algorithm has changed. If you are gaming anchor text and looking to replicate the same content and links on many niche sites, your site will be penalized. Inbound links are now measured by BOTH the relevancy of content on the page you are linked from, AND the relevancy of the site content and the niche site it focuses on.
2. THE HIDDEN GEMS
SPEED: Google loves speed more and more. How fast does your homepage and rest of your site load? Is your code as light and smart as it can be for your homepage? Will a few extra dollars with a CDN hosting strategy drive your SEO and quality traffic by exponential amounts?
SOCIAL SIGNALS: Sharing, liking, pining, tweets, etc. All these social signals are weighed positively by Google. Be smart about this in your template integration and information architecture.
3. MY NEIGHBOR IS WHO?!?!?!
Investigate if you have any questionable sites (i.e. gambling, porn SPAMengines, etc.) sharing infrastructure with you if you host in the cloud. This could hurt your SEO. A few smart questions to your host provider can go a long way.
4. BEING OLD IS GOOD FOR ROOKIES
Corporations looking to rebrand or look to brand new assets, products, or services should look to buying an aged domain. Age of domain has weight in SEO.
5. THE KING: Content. Content. Content.
Google’s optimizing to serve up fast, relevant and high quality content. More energy needs to go into editorial strategy or looking for angles, cutting corners and gaming. Make sure you look at keyword behavior, web analytics, email analytics and search behavior, and question all trends, to help inform all publishing decisions.