4 Features to improve your offsite SEO profile in 2014
In the wake of Rap Genius’ recent trouble with Google for dodgy SEO schemes, there has been a lot of discussion and buzz about the role (and misuse) of links for black hat SEO purposes. The debate has been further fuelled by Google head of Webspam Matt Cutt’s claim that guest blogging was a dead practice. So what constitutes a ‘good SEO profile’ in 2014?
Although it may sound obvious, linking between domains which are relevant to your own site is central to good SEO. Since hyperlinks should provide additional, relevant information to content pieces, there is no point connecting to a website which is thematically nothing to do with yours.
In addition, because a good link profile has the aim of showing your website as an authority in a particular field, you should avoid connecting with content outside your field – this only sends the wrong signals to Google algorithmic parameters, and can actually harm your SEO. Hence for instance, Rap Genius’ initiative to connect with irrelevant blogs, supposedly on the basis of their popularity rather than relevancy, was a flawed tactic.
Focus on quality sites
A second feature to consider in assessing your SEO is the quality of your referring domain. Of course, there are many indicators of a site’s quality, from Trust Flow to Domain Authority, social signals and number of back links.
In particular, ‘authority’ can be very powerful. Example of authorities can include news sites (like the BBC), universities and major international brands. In essence, most SEO factors are like good wine – the older they are, the better they get. Hence, whilst obtaining a link from an old, established website can sometimes be tricky, it is definitely effective.
Use long tail..
Another way to better the quality of your offsite SEO is to use long tail phrases. For years, SEOs have relied on basic individual keywords. While this helps optimise a site or page for a particular term and improve overall search engine rankings, it is of little use for site visitors.
By contrast, long tail phrases improve the user experience by providing more explanation as to why a link is there in the first place. For instance, a website selling sport equipment might prefer to create a connection using the phrase ‘find cheap football boots online’, rather than just ‘football boots’, because it gives more indications of what the destination site contains.
Content, content, content!
Finally, creating informative and engaging content is key! Obviously, this not only involves using keywords and phrases people are likely to look up to drive traffic to your site. You should also make sure your content is well written and helpful to your niche market. This will improve your chances of stimulating engagement, which in turns will add to the quality of your offsite SEO.