The world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is constantly changing and with the rise of social media, the field has changed even more.
Gone are the days when all one had to do to get to the top of search results were to target certain keywords by optimizing website content for those keywords and building links (even through shady methods) pointing to a website.
We may be oversimplifying a bit but what is certain is that SEO is not what it looked like in the past. With this in mind, here is an infographic that compares Old SEO and New SEO with social media in mind and gives tips for sustainable and algorithm-proof SEO methods that work in 2013.
Whereas in the past, those conducting SEO only aimed for just traffic and rankings, now they should be aiming for user engagement and brand exposure. New SEO includes aiming for higher user engagement and more brand exposure. The ultimate goal should shift from just topping search engine ranking to using search engine rankings as a metric and prize for efforts for the ultimate goal of engagement and exposure.
Old SEO also featured thinking of just organic traffic from search engines. As social media plays a larger and larger role in driving traffic on the Internet, this must evolve into including social media and referral traffic from various websites. This is termed by the infographic as diversified traffic.
The old way of thinking about SEO meant that analytical and mostly technical knowledge was given an edge. New SEO should prize analytical and mostly marketing knowledge. Marketing knowledge has become a key skill in new SEO, as this infographic suggests, because sites now aim to organically create buzz among their audiences.
How about content? Content, in the old SEO frame of mind was created for clicks and page views. Now, content should be made to target higher user engagement, conversion and revenue.
Furthermore, content then was created and optimized just for search engines. As a result, titles, headlines and bodies of content were very much optimized for keywords. Now, optimization should be for users. This means headlines should be more often than not catchy and the content aims to offer engaging material.
Focus in the old days was, for example, on exact match anchor text. Now, keyword diversity is key.
Whereas old SEO featured sites which competed solely in search engines, sites should now compete in the blogosphere as to who gets more weight in industry-related blogs, who has a more popular company-produced blog and who manages social media in terms of content publication better.
Personal branding has also risen whereas in the past, anonymity and avoiding exposure was the norm.
People’s demands are now also prioritized instead of just looking at numbers. As we have said in the past, the key now is for efforts on sites and social media accounts to offer real value to followers, potential followers and potential customers in order to keep people interested in your content.
While link building has surely not gone away, it should change now if site owners are keen on implementing algorithm-proof SEO strategies. Link building in the past entailed manually adding websites to directories, buying links and participating in link exchange programs. Google and other search engines frown upon this practice that is why the field has to change.
Focus should shift now to link earning where high quality links are earned through providing content with value. This is done by high-quality guest blogging in industry-related sites, the infographic suggests.
SEO managers should shift from scoring backlinks to establishing relations, from link for link exchange to link without any conditions.
In other words, content creation is now given primacy. Results thanks to technical methods should evolve into results thanks to content creation. Think of a long-term strategy as opposed to short-term, band aid strategies.
The infographic from Positionly also dedicates a section to Social Media. Given how big social media is as an influencer in today’s modern web, this makes sense.
The infographic says that tags are the new keywords. It also notes that social media should not only be used for spreading content anymore and that the tools made available by the various social networks around should be used for communication around content. This makes sense as more engagement of fans on social media is now noticed by search engines like Google.
Furthermore, the more people who participate in discussions of topics brought up by your content, the more people to potentially see your content and ultimately your web presence. This is because the connections of people who engage with your content may see their friend’s activity and then your content.
Meanwhile, the infographic also notes that exposure should not be sought solely from article submission sites anymore. What is more preferred is getting viral exposure through social media. This is why great content is important in modern SEO efforts as the better your content is, the more likely people will voluntarily share it to their network.
Therefore, the goal for commenting is now not for backlinking but for participating in a community. Commenting should be for sharing the experience, helping people with the problems they encounter and building relations and personal authority. As we have said before here on Social Barrel, you are cultivating a community through social media and the more engaged you are with the people who are part of your community, the better the results for you.