A lot has changed in what factors are important to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in 2013. In 2011 Google’s Panda was activated to target spammy, duplicate content. In 2012 Google then brought out the Penguin change which targeted bad link building. In 2013 these two algorithm focuses continue to be refined and changed to further target “unnatural” SEO.
Keeping your SEO efforts focused on foundational principles that withstand the test of time, is not only smart, but mandatory, to keep your websites ranking high in the search engines. Gone are the days of the quick-trick, grey/black hat techniques to rank fast and high.
To keep yourselve rooted in the foundational SEO principles that the search engines continue to reward with higher rankings, I’ve listed some of the more important ones, listed by priority. These principles are supported by the leading SEO resource companies like SEOMoz.com and Search Engine Land.
Positive SEO (The top 6) These are a must:
- Content – Web pages need to be well written and fresh, with substantial quality, original content.
- Links – Links need to be from trusted, quality or respected web sites.
- Titles – HTML title tags need to contain keywords that are relevant to the page topics and are not duplicate or spammy.
- Site Architecture – Search engines need to see and easily crawl targeted pages on the website.
- Keyword Research – Making sure that we are using the right keywords that people are searching for.
- Anchor Text – Using a variety of, and mixing up keywords that are related to the search queries.
Negative SEO (The top 6) Don’t do these:
- Cloaking – Showing search engines a different web page than what you show humans.
- Paid Links – Purchasing or paying for links to get higher rankings.
- Thin Content – Very little content on a page.
- Keyword Stuffing – Excessively using keywords on a page to rank for that keyword.
- Hidden Links or Words – Hiding your links or words from human eyes but not from search engines.
- Link Spam – Creating massive amounts of links through blogs, forums or bad neighborhoods.
If you focus on the positive SEO strategies and stay away from the negative ones, in the long run, your website and its pages will have and maintain solid long-term rankings which will drive sustained traffic.