Monday, November 2, 2009

What Really Matters?

I am asked all the time: What really matters to get ranked number "one" in google for a key term?

I still see a lot of controversy between "Backlinks" and "Content". Why? Because one SEO expert will explain how they added thousands of backlinks and got highly ranked, while another expert will tell you how they added tons of content pages and got highly ranked. So what is the truth?

Although, only google knows the truth, it is going to be primarily a function of the competitive nature of the keyword. To illustrate this point, if you were the only website, you would rank number one. Try this, type in any 7 random letters in google search, and you will usually get less then 10 search results (you probably thought you would get none). With so few, competitors dont you think you could easily rank higher for the same keyword, then anyone of those listed, with little effort?

Now, if you have competitors, google must evaluate how you stack up against them. The stronger they are, the "more" you must do to compete. What is that "more"? There is is good news and bad news. The bad news is, there are hundreds of factors. The good news, there are hundreds of factors. Why is this both good and bad?

Bad, because at first you might be overwhelmed with the amount of work it will take to compete on so many factors, but on the other hand the good news is, you can play to your strength. For example, if you have a lot of great content, then this can make up for the lack of links. There are many sites that don't have good content, and make up for it by working hard to create a lot of backlinks.

As time goes on, older sites who have been doing this for a long time will gain an overwhelming advantage, because of the continuing incremental improvements. A new comer will take a look at what they are up against and might become thoroughly discouraged, since the length of time and/or the amount of effort (money) can look staggering.

What are the alternatives?
  • Paid advertisement, eg online or ppc, or
  • Look for less competitive keywords
If you plan to be in business for the long haul, then start now. Invest what you can, but don't look for quick results, and use an expert, until you can get up to speed, but in the mean time ask how you can assist your seo expert, eg writing articles or making blog comments.

Oh, and What Really Matter? This is what really matters:

  • Title tag is the most important aspect of "on page" SEO
  • Anchoring text is the only way to rank high for keywords
  • Masses of links will assist you in getting top rankings
  • Directories work: Use an outside service while simultaneously working on your other tasks
  • Heading tags are overrated, however keep them in mind when targeting less competitive keywords
  • Keyword density, as long as you meet the minimums of 1 to 2 percent.
Getting a good rank is a mixture of domain age, link popularity and optimized anchor links.
Keep in mind, when shooting for number one SERP, everything matters, even the small things, unless you are number one in backlinks, or number one in content pages, in which case few else matters.

By: Nick the SEO guy

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