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SEO Tactics Decline While Online Branding Rises

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Online branding

SEO tactics that fail to keep up with search engines run the risk of shrinking or even failing. Although some tactics are no longer useful, site publishers can focus more on branding.

Many websites have declined or folded because of the way search engines have changed their approach to ranking sites in its search results. How they rank sites today is far different than how they ranked them 10 years ago.

The impact has altered the way surviving sites approach search engine optimization tactics. But it also has led many sites to pay more attention to branding as a way of attracting site visitors. Good branding practices also get visitors to remember a site and return more often.

This article is not an analysis of the Google search algorithm and how a site can manipulate results in the world of Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and other Google search initiatives.

Instead, it focuses on one consequence in particular and what to do about it, starting with content quality.

How to Brand Well

Branding tactics cover a great deal of territory. They include:

  • A prominent and attractive site logo.
  • A positioning statement or creative tag in the homepage title.
  • The use of the site’s name in page titles, which appear in search engine results.
  • Active social media accounts with a prominent site name.
  • Alternative promotional channels including email newsletters and YouTube videos.
  • Secondary references to the site name throughout the site.

Nofollow Damages SEO Tactics

In 2005, search engine experts proposed the nofollow link as a way of reducing spam on blogs.

Spammers would post comments and articles on various websites and include a link back to their own sites as a way of building “backlinks”, providing their site with “link juice” and improving their rankings in search engines.

The link text would contain keywords that would improve the ranking of their sites within Google for those particular keywords.

In other words, a site about “yellow widgets” would post a comment elsewhere about yellow widgets and include a link back to their site with “yellow widgets” or something similar in the link.

As a result, their own site would rank higher for “yellow widgets” because search algorithms placed value on those backlinks and associated those keywords with that site. They saw the links as a “vote” in favor of the site getting the link.

The nofollow attribute was intended to put a stop to this “unnatural” manipulation practice. A nofollow HTML tag looks like this:

<a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>Link text</a>

However, implementation was uneven. Recent Google changes have literally forced many major sites to implement nofollow or lose search rankings, especially with paid links.

A major SEO tactic has somewhat declined as a result.

The Rise of Branding

Google and Bing have made it clear that branding and site quality matter more and more. It’s in their best interest to do so for the simple reason that they want their own search engine visitors to click into a good site and good article.

Their credibility and usefulness rise as a result, their visitors return more often and they make more money from ad revenue.

So it is in a site’s own best interest to focus on quality. Quality in turn impacts the brand and potential for return visitors who remember it or bookmark it. Google and Bing respond favorably to these efforts if they are done right.

Site content quality includes articles with:

  • Authoritative content that is in-depth, written well and based on credible and accurate sources of information.
  • Enhancements that engage the visitor via images, infographics, polls, videos, commenting and other forms of interaction.
  • On-page optimization via effective document titles, meta descriptions, headlines, image alt tags and keywords.
  • Site architecture and internal linking that directs visitors toward the best and most important content.
  • Fast load times because fast sites result in higher pages per visit, lower bounce rates and higher return visits.

Quality sites build brand awareness, memory and loyalty. Quality and branding increase rankings in search engines. It’s a win-win for the sites and the search engines.

SEO Isn’t Dead Yet

The above description is the on-site perspective of search engine optimization. Clearly, SEO isn’t dead from that perspective.

Where SEO is dying — maybe declining is a better and less dramatic word — is with external tactics such as guest posts.

Backlinks from external sites still matter in the SEO world if they are from links that are dofollow.

They matter even more if those backlinks provide referral traffic. And referral traffic from nofollow links is better than no traffic at all, so in that case nofollow links matter.

But as stated before, nofollow more and more is putting a stop to getting any value out of external backlinks.

Finally, it should be noted that Google apparently does follow the nofollow link. But it does not give the landing page any link value or put the page in its search index unless it was already there for other reasons.

At least site publishers can still focus on writing SEO-friendly titles, articles and meta descriptions.

One Response to “SEO Tactics Decline While Online Branding Rises”

  1. khudal Says:

    your online reputation is always matter for your online business but seo is help in your online business

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