knowledge-is-power-higbieI’m going to start with what could be perceived as one of those “Woe is me, it’s so difficult being a search marketer” articles that I know endear us to all our clients!

However, it’s not really like that – on the contrary, as it’s from Eric Enge it’s one of the clearest and most helpful post you’ll read all year.  Just like this week’s Whiteboard Friday from Rand Fishkin, Eric highlights the importance of avoiding unrealistic expectations by having robust and informed conversations with clients from Day One (preferably before that, in fact) but he also highlights another great point – the “everyone else is doing it” argument.

I see this position being articulated regularly on forums and it really makes me frustrated that people are willing to consider destroying their brand (and, indeed, their whole business model) for the sake of short-term success.  Suffice to say, the advice of DSM is clear – follow best practice, work hard and long-term success will come.

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Related to this “best practice” is, naturally, a deference to how search engines conduct their analysis.  More specifically, it’s obligatory that we have a clear understanding on what Google’s algorithm regards as “authoritative activity” and how we can best go about demonstrating that authority.

With that in mind, I’d politely urge you to read Bill Slawski’s article on SEO by the Sea this week where he explores how Google is working to replace the increasingly blunt tool that is Page Rank.  Having advised its plans to mothball the metric, my expectation was always that google had simply outgrown it and all the important factors bound up in PR has been incorporated into the algorithm in other ways.  Bill’s argument goes further and highlights how google are seeking to add great analytical sophistication in the future.  There is an element of supposition to it but none that is not backed up by good analysis of the evidence available.  Furthermore, the comments are well worth engaging with also.

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A lot of advice is very conceptual in nature – by virtue of their being no “right” answer but only “right” attitudes, it’s often difficult to establish exactly what one is supposed to do in modern SEO.  If, like me, you are always looking for clarity and, dare I say it, an efficient plan to follow, this article on how to go about safe link earning in 2015.  It lays out specific targets areas and outlines clear processes to implement that will allow you to achieve success in those areas.  Without wishing to put DSM out of business, this is a very helpful guide on what can be a fairly nebulous topic.

When reading that, you’ll see how central good networking skills are to link development success. Basically, If you want to achieve a mutually beneficial working relationship, it’s vital that you empathise with those you partner – with that in mind, another article this week gave excellent insight into how bloggers – generally on the other side of these conversations from agencies and independent SEO practitioners – interpret the approaches they receive.

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And for those of you that are missing my periodical foray into a big data report, fret no more.  Seriously – this is, by some serious margin, the best report on Twitter best practice I’ve ever read – it is packed with SO many lessons to learn on both why you should be improving your Twitter engagement and, more helpfully, how to go about doing it. If you have been doubtful about the potential impact of social media, read it and be converted; if you’ve always been convinced how important social media is, read it and be educated.