Link exchanges are all but dead, buying links from link brokers are now a big no-no, and setting up a directory will surely get you nowhere. So what’s an SEO to do? Build a good website!
In a recent interview, SEO guru, Roger Montti, discussed several examples of the best type of SEO. He started off by stating that “
community, deep information, user reviews, and user interaction” were the best type of SEO for any site. When asked to give his top tips on improving a site through SEO, he had these comments:
Make your site a destination. This is more important than many people realize. Think viral.
Get some press, get the ball rolling on notoriety.
Todd: Do you think the Whitehats have won?
Building a site for users with quality content and all that is a great thing. Anything that can pass a hand check and represents a step forward in giving something of value to site visitors is cool. I am 100% into that.
But where some Whitehats fall down is in the idea that certain methods for promoting a site can be considered Whitehat. A lot of these people, most of what they ever stood for was along the lines of what they didn’t stand for, what they didn’t do. They would say things like reciprocal linking is good, as long you exchanged links with quality sites and never used software and did it mostly for the traffic- without ever considering that Google’s guidelines never explicitly (nor implicitly) recommends reciprocal linking.
Some of the Whitehat arguments remind me of statements like: you’re not a slut if the guy you’re humping is your steady boyfriend, that kind of silliness. But here’s the line in the sand: Almost anything you do beyond making your site spiderable and making sure your keywords are on the page is going to be spam.
The day of the blackhat and grayhat SEO is coming to an end. Search engines, like Google, are cracking down on spam, or anything that resembles spam. Webmasters have to be extra careful these days when setting up or tweaking their clients’ websites, because one mistake could take their client’s website out of the index.
I had a website that ranked well in Google, but my 301 redirect broke, and Google thought I was purposely duplicating content on multiple domains. Google penalized the site by dumping it from not only their SERPs, but also their index. Although it was recently added back to their index, and it retained its original PageRank, the SERPs have never been the same.
From my own experience, and the experience of others (like Roger Montti), I suggest the following items as key element to SEO in 2006:
- Clean standards-based XHTML and CSS that validates
- Semantic structuring of content (proper use of headers and other elements)
- Lots of unique and original content
- Features that help foster and create community
- Do something that can bring attention to your website