352 Inc. / Digital Marketing / January 23rd, 2008

Have a website? Work in the industry? You need to know this.

As many of you know we work directly with a well respected and ridiculously effective SEO company, that’s Search Engine Optimization for those of you still using Edit->Copy (see PVR’s post here).  Before working at 352 Media I thought SEO was effectively managing your key words ‘adwords’, relevant content on your page and a navigation that encouraged people to click through the site. 

Well I was partially right. But that’s not really SEO. Today, that is just common sense.  So what is it that really makes an SEO company effective?  That answer is very complex, however, there are secrets of the trade that give an especially unique insight into what’s employed.  If I tried to explain them, this post would take an hour to read and make you more confused than when you started.  Instead here is an article recently published in the hard copy version of Visibility Magazine.  That’s right you actually have to purchase a physical hard copy of a magazine for information on SEO.  What is that all about?  Save a tree and read the article below…

Link Growth: The Sleeping Giant
by Submitawebsite.com President/CEO Joe Griffin

There’s an old saying out there that “content is king”, and I agree that good content is the primary foundation for every website. Everyone who’s in the know understands that link popularity is far and away the primary driver of top search engine rankings.

After all, link popularity acts much like a “search engine credit score.” When you first start out, you can have the best looking website in the world, with incredible content and an amazing business model, but until you’ve established some trust, tenure, and responsibility, you simply won’t get any “credit” with the search engines. You’ve probably also heard about the very cliché “Google Sandbox.” Google representatives themselves have admitted the synergies behind the Google Sandbox theory, and the actual algorithmic logic that runs the Google search results.

The Google Sandbox however isn’t necessarily something that Google is intentionally inflicting upon new websites (Yahoo! has a similar policy). Understanding that Google and Yahoo! live and die on the relevancy of their search results, we must conclude that serving up websites with no established credibility, no tenure online, and zero trust would be a really bad idea.

So, I guess the question really becomes, “What is the best way to establish credibility with Google, Yahoo!, and MSN, and how can this be done in the fastest way possible?”

The answer to this question is simple and complex all at the same time. Essentially, building new inbound links to your website establishes credibility. The problem is that building these links properly needs to be addressed early on — having a strong game plan is crucial for obtaining optimal results.

The three components of link building are:
    1) Link Quality
    2) Link Growth
    3) Link Volume

The industry has adopted link quality and link volume as the primary ingredients for link building juice. The only problem is that link growth is still rarely addressed, and long term link growth strategies are scarcely mentioned in tight SEO circles, even among the most
experienced.

Well, what do we know about link growth? Let’s recap:

1) Link growth is not a new concept.
In May 2005, Google made public the contents of their United States Patent Application. Just search “May 2005 google patent” in Google to read up. Basically, this patent paints a picture that Google may be looking at a lot more than meets the eye. The patent discusses how they may be recording the date on which new inbound links are gained, the frequency with which new links are gained, the total number of days new links are maintained, and much more.

2) Link growth can act as a “sandbox” expeditor.
As previously mentioned, link growth is kind of like a natural credibility builder. Imagine link popularity like a high school popularity contest. If you can create new friends every single day, than you can exponentially better your reputation in a very short period of time.

3) Link growth is more powerful than fresh content.
People always talk about fresh content. Fresh content!?! Forget fresh content! A monkey can update an HTML page. Fresh content is great, but at the end of the day it plays a small role in the rankings process. Link growth cannibalized fresh content a long time ago. To be safe you should employ both strategies, but if you’ve got time on your hands invest it into getting new links first and foremost – assuming you’ve got at least decent content!

4) Link growth types matter.
There are a number of different classifications of link types. Links from bloggers can be classified as “social media links,” while links from newspapers and online publications can be classified as “news links and article links.” Links from top industry websites can be classified as “authority vertical links.” Each link type is important, and each link type should be expanded upon all the time.

5) Link growth consistency – the primary driver of rankings
in the future?
Link growth consistency is one of the tell-tail signs of top performing sites. Why do Amazon, Google, and eBay all have millions of backlinks? They built them feverishly day in and day out naturally over many years. This link growth consistency will forever mark them as the titans within their respective categories. Every category on the Internet is different, and making sure that you are building the best links all the time is the secret sauce to Search. Start now, as this will continue to be one of the primary drivers for top rankings over the next several years.

With all that said, I challenge the person who said “c
ontent is king.” If content is king, than link growth is god. With
out link growth, you can take your content and flush it down the toilet. Don’t know how to get links? Consult an expert!