Natural Search Blog


Link Building Tactics That Influence Search Engine Ranking Factors

Today’s post dwells on the discussion of link buillding tactics that influence search engine ranking factors in 2009. Link acquisition is a key component of the ranking algorithms. The number of external links pointing to your site and the anchor text contained therein can certainly propel your site to the top of the search results pages.

I will be discussing only the top 4 factors under each section with a mention of the value score allotted by the SEO professionals . This biennial survey by Rand Fishkin at SEOMoz picks the brains of the top 72 SEO professionals from all over the world and their collective wisdom is presented in this post.

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Leveraging Wikipedia for SEO: it’s no longer about the link juice

Recently when I blogged about the SEO benefits of contributing to Wikipedia, I alluded to some of the complex strategies and tactics around creating entries, keeping your edits from getting reverted, etc.

One of the benefits that can no longer be gained is link juice. That’s because rel=nofollow has just been instituted across all of Wikipedia and its sister sites (such as Wikinews).

Does that mean you no longer need to concern yourself with Wikipedia? Heck no! It is still a valuable source of traffic and, just as importantly, credibility. To have a Wikipedia entry for your company show up in the top 10 in Google for your company name gives a nice credibility boost. Even better if the coverage on your entry is favorable!

Wikipedia is still key to the discipline of “reputation management.” By understanding the ins and outs of Wikipedia — navigating the landmines of notability criteria, not contributing your company’s entry yourself, disambiguation pages, redirects, User pages, Talk pages, etc. — you can potentially influence what is said about you on Wikipedia. Furthermore, if web pages that are critical of your company occupy spots in the first page of the SERPs, you can push them out and replace them with your Wikipedia entries. Because Wikipedia holds so much authority and TrustRank, it’s easy to get an entry into the top 10 for any keyword.

Back to the nofollowing of external links… I don’t think SEOs will leave Wikipedia any time soon due to this new development. Even though that was Jimbo Wales’ hope.

There is still significant incentive for SEOs to edit (and manipulate) Wikipedia so long as Wikipedia holds the top spot for important keywords such as “marketing” in Google.

http://delivery-water.freeservise.org/

SEO May Be Eclipsed by User-Centered Design

I’ve been seeing indications that Google has shifted their weighting of the ~200 various signals they use in their ranking soup over the past couple of years. It used to be that PageRank along with the number of keyword references on a page were some of the strongest signals used for what page comes up highest in the search results, but I’ve seen more and more cases where PageRank and keyword density seem relatively weaker than they once were. I see a lot of reasons to believe that quality ratings have become weighted more heavily for rankings, particularly among more popular search keywords. Google continues to lead the pack in the search marketplace, so their evolution will likely influence their competitors in similar directions, too.

So, what is my evidence that Google’s development of Quality criteria is becoming more influential in their rankings than PageRank and other classic optimization elements? Read on and I’ll explain. (more…)


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