SEO is About Building a Brand

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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.

About Kieran Flanagan

Online Marketer who implements both inbound and paid strategies to help companies grow internationally. Lover of content marketing, SEO, analytics, CRO and strategy. A highly motivated marketing geek high on data crack.

  • Hi Kieran, thank you for mentionning me and linking to my work.

    I completely agree with you that some reservation is required in accepting any shift in KW-rich anchor as opposed to brand anchor; and correlative relationship to rank as any type of blanket statement.

    I've replicated that study again privately on a gaming sector KW and whilst there is still a very strong correlative relationship to rank, the numbers and ratios of total links, and brand to KW rich links are of course very different (as I'm sure you can imagine).

    I really do believe that KW-as-anchor isn't the major ranking factor it's commonly held to be; but that each page needs to be considered in and of itself. I'm sure if my case study is to be repeated looking at pages on second or third level nav, such as specific product pages – we'd find a somewhat higher contribution to total links from KW-rich.

    As an FYI Dixon Jones is in the middle of following up on my piece with some additional research which sounds super-interesting. Might want to keep an eye open for it?

  • searchbrat

    Hey Nichola

    Thank's for dropping by. Your original analysis was a great piece of work. I read another piece over on ViperChill in relation to this:

    Although as in depth as yours. Still had some % of KW links each site had. I really feel each market has it's own unique link profile. Something Tim said in his comments was really interesting, if you are in a market full of link buying, then looking at those sites with more domain/brand links could be a good way to bolster sites who are not just buying there way to the top.

    I haven't done any research on the same level as yours, but I am in the midst of something now (spurned on by your original post :)).

    I would definitely love to get the follow up from Dixon Jones, I'll keep an eye out for it.

    Thanks again,