Visit any popular Internet marketing or webmaster forum and a common question you will find people asking is whether search engine optimization (SEO) is dead or not. This is a pertinent question, considering that the 2012 Google Penguin update had a severe impact on many SEO strategies.
Is it still possible to increase your search engine ranking by building links? Does on-page SEO still have any value? In today’s blog post, you will discover if SEO is still effective as it once was.
Google’s “Penguin” update is at the center of the current debate over the effectiveness of SEO. This change to the Google search algorithm was released with the intention of cutting down on web spam. In particular, Google’s algorithm engineers hoped that the Penguin update would reduce the prominence of websites using so-called “black hat” link building methods to push their websites higher up the search engine rankings.
Many websites fell from first page rankings overnight. Internet marketing forums swelled with angry and frustrated webmasters, complaining that Google had once again ruined the livelihoods of many.
Does SEO still have any value in this extremely difficult environment? Despite the clamouring masses claiming that SEO is finished, you will actually find that it is still useful for driving more traffic and higher search engine rankings. In fact, a massive opportunity is now afoot for those who are willing to adapt to the changing state of SEO play.
On-page SEO Secrets
The Penguin update was supposed to have hit websites that were "excessively" optimized for on-page SEO. This meant a whole heap of webmasters and affiliates started to panic and worry that, just perhaps, all their on-page efforts were in vain. Imagine building a whole site where you had strategically done every bit of on-page optimization you could think of, only to have Google turn around and tell you that this could actually see you being penalized.
No wonder so many people thought that on-page SEO was dead.
However, I can unequivocally promise you that on-page SEO is still relevant. In fact, it is more relevant than ever. You see Google weren't simply stepping in the ring to K.O. on-page optimization; they were actually after sites that had more optimization than content.
These are the kind of sites that fill their articles with header tags, bolded keyword phrases, and keyword-stuffed image ALT tags, and don't actually offer much in the way of content at all. They might use poorly rewritten PLR articles, very short, or spammy content. However, for a long time these types of sites were able to rank highly in Google through a combination of clever on-page optimization, and link building.
Now that Google Penguin has been rolled out, proper on-page SEO is more important than ever. The secret?
Make sure you place the importance of your content before any optimization techniques. To put it simply, you must focus on delivering great value to your readers, and then you can work on making things more appealing for the search engines.
Here's a quick "on-page SEO cheatsheet" to help you:
- Write for humans, not for search engines
- Try and aim for at least 400 words per article
- Avoid keyword stuffing
- Use keyword variations frequently
- Link related articles on your website together (internal linking)
- Add alt tags to your images, based on keywords
- Increase visitor retention by embedding YouTube videos in your content
Follow the above and you'll soon realize that on-page SEO is not dead. But what about link building (off-page SEO)
The Truth About Link Building
Over the past 12 months keen affiliates have seen the following forms of link building take a real pounding from Google:
- Article directory marketing
- Web 2.0 sites
- Blog networks
- Social bookmarking sites
Now these methods all still work (in fact, they provide a great "base" for your link building efforts) But they are not the guaranteed source of first page rankings that they used to be. Link building has definitely become more difficult, because it requires a more concerted effort to "think outside the square".
So, is off-page SEO dead?
Certainly not! Link building is alive and kicking. However, Google wants you to focus on building links through sources that provide more value to search users. This means building links by creating fantastic content that naturally attracts links. You can also supercharge this process by guest blogging, creating link-bait, or using press releases to announce your website to the world.
Instead of going after the "low-hanging fruit", you want to focus on building links that take a little bit more effort, but that also offer far greater reward.
In conclusion, it is clear that SEO is not actually dead. There will always be that select group of naysayers who believe the "sky is falling" after every Google update. However, if you can avoid getting caught up in that negative train of thought then you will realize that there is actually huge opportunity available to build powerful and profitable affiliate websites (even after the Penguin update)
How do you capitalize on this opportunity to build profitable affiliate websites? (while everyone else is stressing that SEO and affiliate marketing are dying) By following Mark Ling's AffiloBlueprint course, you will get to see step-by-step how a "super affiliate" is still using his time-tested method for building highly profitable affiliate sites.
AffiloBlueprint has been fully updated for 2012, and teaches you the most effective SEO methods including how to guest blog, create link bait, and overcome Google's algorithm updates. Mark will show you how to build a money-making website from start to finish!
For the next 24 hours only you can get full access to AffiloBlueprint for a very special discounted price of $97. After this, it will go back to the regular price of $197 - so get in quick! Go here to secure your copy of AffiloBlueprint.