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A very interesting article on SEO and recent Panda & Penguin

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by SebastianG, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. SebastianG

    SebastianG Junior Member

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    Just wanted to share, since I found it really helpfull, the article is written by Veronica Fielding, you can read it here:
    Code:
     http://www.fastcompany.com/3000283/seo-isnt-what-you-think-it 
    for those too lazy to click, I've pasted it below.

    [h=1]SEO Isn't What You Think It Is[/h]
    [h=3]Updates to Google's algorithms mean that social engagement, rather than search engine trickery, yields top results.[/h]
    Marketers are buzzing from the aftershocks of Google's recent most updates, code-named Panda and Penguin.
    Panda, which launched around February of 2011, started using artificial intelligence in new ways to enforce the best practices guidelines Google had long provided to those seeking to optimize their websites.
    If Panda was a wrist slap, Penguin, launched in last April, was a body slam to websites still trying to "trick" the search engines into ranking them ahead of their competition. The update emphasized the importance of quality content, originality, and overall user experience.

    Both the Panda and Penguin updates contained very clear messages for marketers: stop focusing on technology and tricks and start focusing on people. If your website appeals to people, it will appeal to Google's algorithms too.

    But the Panda and Penguin messages go deeper. With them, the search engines are openly acknowledging that a website isn't the only place on the Web that a brand needs to maintain a strong presence. The interactive exchanges that people have with each other and with the brand--online--are happening in the social media channel, and the search engines are placing an increasing importance on how these conversations influence their views on brands and how their websites should rank.

    This means that a brand can no longer rely on a well-optimized website to earn Google's attention. A brand must be a conversationalist, going where the people are and engaging them in discussion, and by doing that earn a wonderful reputation.

    Smart brands are doing this by fully leveraging each social channels particular properties.

    Facilitate conversations with fans on your Facebook page.


    Simply announcing what your company is up to isn't going to get fans engaging with your brand. Post information that is relevant to your brand and of interest to your stakeholders. Invite questions, suggest other reading, provide links, curate other content. The point is to have dynamic conversations between your brand and your fans.
    Parmesan is a delicious example.


    Share tweets about topics of interest (again--not self-serving announcements but follower-serving news) via Twitter
    .

    The search engines are all looking at Twitter activity, at the keyword and brand-name level, as signals for which brands deserve top rankings. No one is going to be interested in miles and miles of one-way tweets about how great your brand is. Know your stakeholders: provide information that will be of use to them and they will not only follow you, they'll retweet what you share.
    Whole Foods gets it.


    Uploading shareable videos to your YouTube channel optimizes your brand as well as your website.


    How? When the content is engaging, people what to share it. When they share it, they often add a link to your website. Encourage more sharing and engagement with people who leave comments by responding to their comments. Remember, Google owns YouTube. Enough said.
    Home Depot has a quality YouTube channel.


    Pin and Repin interesting visuals on Pinterest
    .

    Pinterest may not be right for every brand, but if you market to consumers and have a brand with visual attributes or messaging that can be supported by photos, images, and infographics, Pinterest is another option to leverage for brand optimization.
    Real Simple and West Elm pin well.


    Participate in groups, answer questions, and post company updates on LinkedIn
    .

    This is less about SEO and more about putting your brand where the buyers are. Whether you are a B2B or B2C marketer, having a strong LinkedIn profile for your company, complete with referrals from customers and strategic partners, is a strong component in the brand optimization mix. While LinkedIn groups tend to be "closed" and therefore not accessible to the search engines, some are public, and therefore search engine crawlable and the conversations in those groups where your brand is referenced with links to your website can help with SEO and brand optimization too. And don't forget, Company Pages are public and now feature status updates.
    Voices.com is a resource on LinkedIn.


    Share information on Google+.


    There is widespread belief that as Google+ gains in popularity, the conversations there will help with brand and search engine optimization. People have been somewhat slow to add yet another social media profile to their online presence, and brands have been slow to adopt Google+ too, but some brands are making smart use of Google+ now.
    See what the New York Times is doing with it.

    All of this social media activity works to create engagement around the brand by what has always mattered to the search engines most: people.
    So rather than asking yourself, "How do I optimize my website to better rank with search engines?" ask, "How can I optimize my brand so that it's a sought-after participant in relevant conversations?" Answering that will bring you top rankings on the search engines and much, much more.

    Veronica Fielding is the CEO of Digital Brand Expressions, a trailblazing digital marketing agency that specializes in building audiences and connecting buyers and brands through context marketing solutions.


    What do you think?
     
  2. The Web Designer

    The Web Designer Regular Member

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    If the link is clickable, then I would have clicked it.
     
  3. assphuck

    assphuck Senior Member

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    Seems that this article places an emphasis on social signals. Such signals are great for webmaster related niches, but are near worthless for those that run concrete companies as an example.

    I took two sites, with an identical number of pages and of a similar age, and built some links to each one. Both were ranking around 20. One site I built some social links to it (no tweet blasts, fiverr gigs, etc.) as well. The site with the social links is sitting at position 13. The other site, without social signals, is sitting in position 7. Granted, this is not a controlled case study, but I've tried using social signals before and it is ineffective in my opinion. Sure, it can drive traffic, but for the niches I'm in they do not help at all. Ones time is better spent elsewhere if their desire is for backlinks. However, that does not mean in the future Google's algorithm will not give them more value then they do now.
     
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  4. Hartwigm

    Hartwigm Junior Member

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    This article is a few months (maybe years) too soon. The major issue is that for many, many sites the social aspect of marketing and advertising just isn't cost effective. Google wants to rid us of spam, but they may very well rid us of quirky, niche sites. This might still be all well and good if there was an equal playing field, but there isn't. Adwords gives a huge step up to anyone with some capital. And old fashioned, link pyramids and crappy xrumer blasts still do rank some sites. Can you imagine investing a huge amount of time and money into a natural, organic link building campaign only to get beat out by three fiverr gigs? That's the reality we still face. Penguin and Panda hits lots of these sites, but many still slip through Google's mammoth fingers. Until there is parity and until there is balance, it's simply not worth my time to follow the social plan put forward above. My sites may generate some momentum, but it would take a huge amount of time and capital to get them going in the first place. That money and effort is still better spent.
     
  5. infoasian

    infoasian Supreme Member

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    Social signals are great for viral traffic, but impact on Serps is non- existing imho.
     
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  6. weruncompanies

    weruncompanies Power Member

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    Thanks for sharing! Going to comment on this.. Please tell me ONE person or ONE reason anyone would talk openly about the following: You really think people are going to "Like" or "Tweet" about that stuff, on their personal pages where family and friends can see everything.. It just doesn't make sense, no one would do that. Google can't properly base things off social signals, too many niches where it's irrelevant.


    - Foot Creams and Fungus
    - Vag/Dick Problems
    -
    Person Medical Questions
    - Family Problems
    - Relationship Advice
    - Divorce Lawyers
    - Etc

    Now let's step back for a second, because Google may use this. What's Google about retailers, big business sites, etc. They will dominate the SERPs, big retailers like Walmart, Target, etc will get a ton of likes on Product pages thus killing off a ton of other people making niche sites about product areas, etc. Making everyone spend $ just to secure a spot with PPC. Retailers are going to starve with social signals and it's going to be a complete bitch for them to deal with it, thus more $ in PPC.

    Also that would be incredibly stupid on Google's part to use social signals.. Let's see MYSPACE died, imagine if they used Myspace signals, they'd be fucked! Like that site, Facebook and Twitter at some point will die, it's the life cycle of the internet..

    As well how can Google determine likes? Fake accounts too easy to manipulate.. My only advice as a backup: Get 600 accounts on Facebook, make them look as legit as possible, user photos, album photos, post a ton of updates on the walls, add at least 300-400 friends and increase your network of real friends, make it looks real.. Then use them to like your stuff. I can see this becoming a valuable asset in the future as Google tries to sort this all out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  7. SebastianG

    SebastianG Junior Member

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     As well how can Google determine likes? Fake accounts too easy to  manipulate.. My only advice as a backup: Get 600 accounts on Facebook,  make them look as legit as possible, user photos, album photos, post a  ton of updates on the walls, add at least 300-400 friends and increase  your network of real friends, make it looks real.. Then use them to like  your stuff. I can see this becoming a valuable asset in the future as  Google tries to sort this all out. 
    Wait, facebook pages are indexable?

    I didn't completely agree with the article, that's why I posted it here, to hear different perspectives on it. I assume the guys at google will figure out how unreliable social signals are and perhaps improve the next update. You don't even have to build a network, you can pay for 100 facebook accounts and use those to make profit and rank your own websites.
     
  8. ja1myn

    ja1myn Senior Member

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    It's really sad that Google is shifting their focus to which sites have a better social profile. Now FB and Twitter are gonna get spammed even more than they already do. What a shame.
     
  9. CandyLand

    CandyLand Regular Member

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    I'm also of the opinion that it's ineffective. I've tested pinterest, tumblr, and some similar sites quite a bit for a niche I was previously in, and though it can drive traffic, it didn't seem to have much effect on the site's rank, positive or negative.

    But I bet Google loves this latest myth about social signals. I can picture Matt Cunts laughing as he bellows "Guys, I convinced them all to go harass twitter and facebook for awhile. Drinks are on me"
     
  10. ja1myn

    ja1myn Senior Member

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    Lmao, wouldn't doubt it. What better way to give the competition a little hassle.
     
  11. Hartwigm

    Hartwigm Junior Member

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    I think we are starting to see a consensus that this article doesn't really capture what's happening with the Google algo changes.
     
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  12. SebastianG

    SebastianG Junior Member

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    Well that escalated quickly
     
  13. axeimer

    axeimer BANNED BANNED

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    Google changes algo so much that it is hard to see the article and perform right.
     
  14. rippy

    rippy Regular Member

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    crap :)
     
  15. affarmy

    affarmy Regular Member

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    This article is total bullshit quite frankly./ No study. No facts. Just blatant opinion. Total waste of 2 mins of my life;.