I would hazard a guess that most people who are truly passionate about SEO consider themselves savy marketers, hell, I said as much in my last post. From my point of view, sometimes it can be information overload in this industry, but I tend to read books on marketing as a bit of an escape from keeping updated with the latest going’s on in the industry. I am a big fan of Eben Pagan, probably due to my background in NLP (Master Certified), so enjoy the way he teaches. His Guru Course is the only IM course I have spent big bucks on.
Well that interest in marketing could be what sorts the successful SEO’s from those stuck trying to game Google (or should I say Search Engines now Bing is showing a little growth ). Tim over at SEOWizz has an interesting post on anchor text and weather it’s lost the edge in ranking factors. He has seen a big shift to domain based links, those mentioning your brand. The post has some really interesting stats and should be read along with Nichola Scotts (@NicholaStott) post on “Are we over-engineering the link graph“. The general sentiment is that having a link profile that is dominated by target keyword anchor text links, may not cut it anymore. Something I noticed when looking at an odd listing for the premierinn.
I left a comment on SEOWizz saying I was on the fence as I can see this in some markets, but others still appear to be dominated by anchor text links. But as Eric Ward always says, why a site rankings top and how links are valued, are very much dependent on a huge plethora of factors, including the market you in.
One thing I agree with Tim on, building a brand is a LOT more interesting than simply looking for cheap anchor text links. Good Search consultants are usually well versed with how their strategic approach ties in with social media, banner advertising, affiliate marketing etc etc. They can monitor a sites analytics and look to see if that big branding exercise has paid dividends, should you implement a remarketing campaign to drive people back into the funnel and how can your paid search creative be altered to take all this into account.
Aaron Wall always has posts that are relevant to building brands, here is one of the best.