Google & Bing talked about their love of social and the impact on SERP’s in a recent post with Dany Sullivan of Search Engine Land. This was then written about on SEOMoz. All of this was just an evolution or confirmation of how Google used social to influence their QDF results. Does it really have an impact on your strategy ?
In reality this announcement should have zero impact on your current strategy. For those SEO’s working in social markets, I would be astonished or should I say appalled, if they hadn’t already plugged social into their off site promotion. Let’s face it, there is nothing jaw droopingly new about social, it just gives us new ways to reach potential sites that can promote your content. When SEO’s where emailing other site owners, answering messages or replying on blogs, no one called it social. But now we are promoting content via twitter, facebook and other social channels, all of a sudden, it’s an SM strategy, really it’s just an evolution of how we can communicate.
When rolling out a site I go through a process. It starts off with a 3 month period where I have a crappy looking site, good on-site SEO, good content and lots of tracking. When I see potential, I will upgrade the look, content and outlay 5 core ways of building links. Recently I created the following 5 methods of building links to a new site:
1. Proving Quality Answers
We set up a lot of alerts on a number of products. We provide great answers to these and actually provide extra information that was not requested. Ross Hudgens covered how to set up Google Alerts for link building and it’s an excellent starter point for this.
2. Hub Pages / Comments
We build hub pages on long tail keywords and comment on related hub pages, driving up our hub score. I also link build to the hubs to drive up their score.
3. Guest Content Opportunities
We build huge opportunity lists of places that will accept guest content in our market. If you are looking for an easy way to put together queries to find these opportunities, check out Ontolo’s tools
4. Directories (Featured)
Guess what, every market has it’s own link profile. For example, in gambling you have to buy links, in another niche, you might get away with article marketing. For this particular site, featured listings on directories provided value for long tail keywords and deep pages.
5. Not Telling
Somethings are best left untold.
The above elements have social elements. Answering questions on sites like Yahoo answers, providing quality content to sites, could all be considered social. But really, SEO’s have been doing this where needed for quite a while.
In markets like insurance it’s still going to be difficult to plug in a social arm to your strategy. The first touch point will still be Google and people will still not like or tweet about a great page on an insurance site.
Social is and will continue to have a big impact on SEO, but if that is news to consultants in search, perhaps they should consider a new career.