According to a recent poll run by Search Engine Roundtable, most agencies are positive about the idea of links-free SEO.
The truth is the focus of most digital marketing best practice is on developing strong brand authority (and maximising the reach of that authority) through content development, onsite optimisation and connector strengthening (particularly via social media in recent months).
As such, the enduring need to work on link profile development, coupled with the uncertainty created by Google’s ongoing battle to suppress the impact of low quality links on rankings, is something that most quality agencies would not mind seeing the back of as an algorithmic factor (although, they acknowledge that it still is – and a strong one at that – and therefore, needs ever more careful management).
Moreover, most quality agencies resent the fact that there is still scope for success (albeit in the short-term and at potentially great risk) for out-dated SEO practices, predominantly focused on low-quality link development. Links-free SEO could have a place. Personally, I think not, but you never know.
In essence, most search marketing companies worth their salt have always married the traditional marketing strengths of brand development, market immersion and audience engagement with the unique benefits of the digital age. And that convergence has never been clearer than it is now, with the areas of traditional marketing and search marketing virtually indistinguishable. DSC will be publishing a paper on this in the next week or so and, in the meantime, Search Engine Journal touches on some of the talking points here.
The point about content.
At the heart of this convergence is, as we’ve mentioned innumerable times, content. Nevertheless, the challenge still remains – how to generate content that is
1) Of a high enough quality to be respected by humans and search engines alike
2) Engaging enough to retain interest
3) In the eye line of your audience so that it does not go unappreciated
We’ve talked about finding the inspiration required for #1 but as Shannon Johnson says, “content isn’t king, distribution is”. And on top of that article, there have been two other great summation of how to approach #2 & #3 (here and here) with clear advice on how to disseminate your content with the emphasis on catching your readers attention and holding it for high engagement (and authority development).
Of course one of the areas that the digital arena still has clear divergence over traditional theory is in technical demands and one very impactful tool is schema.org. Its implementation can be exceptionally beneficial and it represents an underused resource that can give a site a significant nudge on its competitors.
And if you’re wondering whether it’s all worth it – here are brilliantly illuminating stats from David Moth at Econsultancy. In a nutshell:
- Facebook is growing and growing as an advertising outlet (and DSM will be looking at that growth soon and contrasting with Google’s model) – a lot of advertisers think they’re doing something right – do you?
- If your site is not mobile-optimised, you’re missing a trick – you could be leaving your competitors in the dust…
Any queries or comments? Please let us know – below or via our social media – we’d love to hear your opinions.