If you have been in the Internet marketing industry for a while, then you know that things change on a constant basis. In order to keep your business successful, you need to stay on top of the constant changes that are associated with this industry.
As with all things associated with this business, SEO (search engine optimization) is ever changing. During the course of 2012, however, there have been some huge changes in the way that Internet marketers should implement search engine optimization. These changes are largely due to the fact that Google, the largest and most widely used search engine, is constantly monitoring websites and changing the way that sites are ranked. Perhaps the word Panda rings a bell? (Never did I think that such a cute little animal would have such a stinging bite.)
That being said, if you want to remain on top with Google, as well as with other search engines, you are going to want to modify your search engine optimization efforts in order to accommodate the every changing climate of these search engines.
In an effort to keep your business safe from these ever changing algorithms, and to keep you on top of the search engine rankings, here is a look at some of the Top SEO Tips for 2012:
1. Quality Content: This tip is actually one that has been around for a while, but in the year 2012, it is more important than ever. Google, as well as other search engines, have really cracked down on thin content on websites. This is because they view thin content as offering little to no value to the visitors of these sites. The search engines see the sites that have thin content as nothing more than an opportunity for a webmaster to make money – and that is a big no-no. In order to stay on top of the search engines, make sure that the content that you feature on your sites is quality. This means blog posts, articles, videos and even pictures. Quality is the name of the search engine optimization game in 2012.
2. Overuse of Keywords: If there is one thing that Google really hates in 2012, it’s overuse of keywords, better known as ‘keyword stuffing.’ In the past, many sites targeted keywords and jammed every piece of content that they featured with these targeted keywords in an effort to drive up their ranking and increase traffic. In 2012 (well, actually, it started a while ago, but really became a huge deal in 2012) Google, as well as other search engines, says no more! If you are thinking about cramming an article or blog post with keywords just to bring up your ranking, then you had better think again. In fact, a sure fire way to get your site kicked off the search engines is to overuse your keywords.
3. Exact Keyword Match Domain: This tip could be linked to the last tip, but it is so important that I thought it should be mentioned on its own. Just recently, Google updated Panda with a new algorithm; the exact keyword match domain. Basically, sites that feature exact keywords directly in their domains are being shut down by Google. This is because Google sees these sites as being in existence for the sole purpose of making money; and of course, this is a big no-no. So, if you want to stay in business, than you are going to have to nix the using exact keywords in your domain name.
4. Inbound Links: Building links has always been, and still is, an important aspect of search engine optimization. However, the types of links that you build are very important in 2012. Paying for links may have been a big business before, but in 2012, this is very looked down upon. Paying for links is very shady and the only thing this is going to do for you is knock your business down. Instead, work on building quality links that are natural and that will be in existence for the long haul.
5. Outbound Links: Sure, you can still feature outbound links on your site, but don’t even think about linking to poor quality, or spam sites. If you link to a poor quality site that features a bunch of spam, then you can bet that you are going to get a hard slap on the wrist. If you are going to feature any outbound links, make sure that you are only linking to quality, authoritative sites that will add value to your site visitors’ experience.
6. Directories: No longer can you submit your site to tons of directories in an effort to create more exposure for your business. Google, as well as the other search engines, have really cracked down on the directories that you submit your site to. Make sure that if you are submitting your site to directories that you are submitting it to quality sites.
7. Change Up Your Anchor Text: Make sure that you switch up your anchor text. Writing an article or a blog post that features the same anchor text is a surefire way to get in trouble with the search engines. Instead, switch up your anchor text. Alternate the keywords or phrases that you use as your anchor text. Not only will this make your content more search-engine friendly, but it will also make for better quality writing that, which, at the end of the day, is always a good thing.
8. Stay Away from Blog Networks: With the rise of so many blogs in recent years, there has been a big surface of blog networks. Basically, with these networks, blogs exchange links with one another in order to build their presence. The search engines are not fans of this practice.
9. Don’t Cloak: Don’t try to pretend that you are showing your visitors one thing and then show them something else. When you try to trick the search engines with a cloak, they will see right through it and you will sink right to the bottom.
10. Be Natural: One of the best tips that I can offer is to be natural. In 2012, it is all about offering site visitors quality information. Just try to be as natural as you can be when you create your websites and everything will fall into place.