• http://wtff.com/ WTFFcom

    “The basics of SEO haven’t changed much in the last 15 years. If you followed the mantra of creating good content and obtaining quality links, they still haven’t changed”

    Oh, SEOs are so modest as usual )
    Why “last 15 years”? People followed “mantra of creating good content and obtaining quality links” by word-of-mouth promotion since … well, for 100000+ years at least. They just were not so intelligent to know, that in fact they were SEOs.

    You should write :

    The basics of SEO haven’t changed much SINCE HUMAN BEINGS EXISTENCE. If you followed the mantra of creating good content and obtaining quality links, they still haven’t changed …

    Human beings should know who must be appreciated for the “good content” around them – caves paintings, religious texts, pyramids, etc etc etc …

    “Mantra of creating good content and obtaining quality links” existed forever, means SEO also existed forever and here is nothing to be ashamed of. Be proud. SEOs created this World. Period.
    ——————-

    “I somehow doubt that the search engines (Google especially) will abandon their vendetta against spammers long enough to help the new SEO best practices actually work the way they are intended to”

    If you mean by “new SEO best practices” :

    - create content because of the possible links, not because you must say something important ;
    - create content with search engines in mind ;
    - still manipulate links this or the other way ;

    then your doubts are correct.

  • Laura Phillips

    Nice round up Jenny, thanks. It is quite crazy trying to explain this stuff to friends in other industries!

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    Hahaha. Touche.

    I referenced last 15 years because that’s how long I’ve been in SEO. Therefore I can’t reasonably “know” longer than that. But your points are well-stated, if a bit “passionate”. ;-)

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    Thanks Laura! I try to write in layman’s terms, but still use too much jargon sometimes. Hope it will help you to share it. That’s the point right? Google wants content people can use and share.

  • NSLX

    People use Nextag?

  • NSLX

    People use Nextag?

  • Guest

    Great article indeed. However, I’m not quite sure how much I agree with #2 exactly. Of course, I’m not a complete expert and would like more feedback on this, but we’ve created local pages for the cities we’re in for the company I represent and have seen pretty solid results.

  • Pedram Farsaii

    I’m not sure how much I agree with #2. We’ve created custom local pages for our locations across the States with pretty solid results. I’m no expert, but, I still think that location keywords are very important. Though, the root words of course hold a lot of value and naturally location pages and schema markup will point the searcher in the right direction, a lot of times the location keywords help really target the exact product/service with the exact location – instead of the home page, for example, that a Places search result might point to.

    Thoughts?

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    Pedram (and my anonymous Guest), thanks for your comments. What I was saying about #2 isn’t so much that the practice is obsolete, because I know it still works! What I meant is that if Google heads the way they say they are heading, these types of pages will be less important. And I hope we can all agree that pages where just the location name is changed are simply spam.

  • http://www.blackbeardesign.com Joel Black

    Thanks for the comments. Im going to go take a look at all my 404 error pages.

  • http://zmotevangelist.com/ David Dino Maiolo

    Ooooh, #5…drives me nuts. The same SEO’s who loaded tons of spammy links to their clients’s sites are now charging to remove those links. Reminds me of the mortgage industry when mortgage brokers were booking loans they knew were high risk, then went back to their customers to sell them loan modifications after they went upside down. Maybe a lot of these brokers moved into the SEO business after the real estate market crashed.

  • http://www.cygnet-infotech.com/ Boni Satani

    Great Article! Specially point #2 & #3

    Though would need some clarification on point 1 – context of the point is pretty clear but the method you choose to prove it, I guess may not be 100 per correct. I mean at any point of time the comparison between “buy power tools” & “power tools”, the general keyword (here – power tools) will always have higher searches, right? so what you said was by default true for 2011 or 2012 also :P

  • http://www.bettergraph.com/ Anoop Srivastava

    Thanks WTFFcom. Yes, i am also observing from last 5 years and find that quality content is basic fundamental thing that we should remember in SEO industry.

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    You’re right, I could have been more clear… what I was trying to show is that the trend is shifting. So while more and more people are interested in power tools, the number of people who are adding “buy” to the keyword is trending down. Indicating that while people are no less interested in power tools, they’re not bothering with the extra step of indicating the “buy” intent since power tools will now return shopping style results. You can see it with “iphone” and “buy iphone” too, although the trend is a little tougher to spot because of the peaks around an iphone release.

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    You’re right, I could have been more clear… what I was trying to show is that the trend is shifting. So while more and more people are interested in power tools, the number of people who are adding “buy” to the keyword is trending down. Indicating that while people are no less interested in power tools, they’re not bothering with the extra step of indicating the “buy” intent since power tools will now return shopping style results. You can see it with “iphone” and “buy iphone” too, although the trend is a little tougher to spot because of the peaks around an iphone release.

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    Be careful! 301′ing a 404 could bring up bad links. So make doubly sure your links to that page are clean before you “fix” it. This is what drives me nuts. Why wouldn’t you want to fix an error page?!

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    Be careful! 301′ing a 404 could bring up bad links. So make doubly sure your links to that page are clean before you “fix” it. This is what drives me nuts. Why wouldn’t you want to fix an error page?!

  • Allyn1

    I take a bit of issue with #2 above. The SERP you show there is obviously from a spammy site that probably isn’t a true brick and mortar biz anyway. Either way, ranking for geo terms was never about just “making content with keywords and geo modifiers” It was and always has been about context. If you want to rank a site for states or cities, you have to draw context from and within the areas you want to rank. In the old days, we’d just get links from contextually relevant sites (if you wanted to rank for ‘Chicago’ terms, you’d get links from Chicago based sites in your niche using anchor text and surrounding content to strengthen the signal)
    It’s even MORE important nowadays, but we have to rely on the context of the humans and not just the links anymore. (been going this way for a few years now, not just 2012 and 2013)
    You used your own company website as an example. It would stand to reason that if you are located in NC, and your employees who have authorship on the site are also located in NC, and who’s mobile habits geo-locate them within NC, then that is the context that is drawn by Google. Want to expand out? draw context from other areas of the country. More and more, interactions offline (think mobile) now draw context online. BTW- this is why Google Plus is such a big play — it’s not a social network… it’s a huge contextual database that Google can draw from. It’s used to improve search results which is where Google makes it’s money! Add in all the data that Google gets from Android devices, and you have a lot of BIG data to draw context from… and improve SERPS — enter: Hummingbird

    Of course, then there is the whole idea that Google is a business, not a charity, and many terms that you want to rank for require the smart use of PPC along with a site that is well optimized to convert those visitors. That’s another art form that plays right along with SEO (quality scores) and user experience. No longer can we just look at SEO as a stand alone function. Social, PPC, SEO and traditional advertising all work together.

  • Allyn1

    I take a bit of issue with #2 above. The SERP you show there is obviously from a spammy site that probably isn’t a true brick and mortar biz anyway. Either way, ranking for geo terms was never about just “making content with keywords and geo modifiers” It was and always has been about context. If you want to rank a site for states or cities, you have to draw context from and within the areas you want to rank. In the old days, we’d just get links from contextually relevant sites (if you wanted to rank for ‘Chicago’ terms, you’d get links from Chicago based sites in your niche using anchor text and surrounding content to strengthen the signal)
    It’s even MORE important nowadays, but we have to rely on the context of the humans and not just the links anymore. (been going this way for a few years now, not just 2012 and 2013)
    You used your own company website as an example. It would stand to reason that if you are located in NC, and your employees who have authorship on the site are also located in NC, and who’s mobile habits geo-locate them within NC, then that is the context that is drawn by Google. Want to expand out? draw context from other areas of the country. More and more, interactions offline (think mobile) now draw context online. BTW- this is why Google Plus is such a big play — it’s not a social network… it’s a huge contextual database that Google can draw from. It’s used to improve search results which is where Google makes it’s money! Add in all the data that Google gets from Android devices, and you have a lot of BIG data to draw context from… and improve SERPS — enter: Hummingbird

    Of course, then there is the whole idea that Google is a business, not a charity, and many terms that you want to rank for require the smart use of PPC along with a site that is well optimized to convert those visitors. That’s another art form that plays right along with SEO (quality scores) and user experience. No longer can we just look at SEO as a stand alone function. Social, PPC, SEO and traditional advertising all work together.

  • Mehmet ÇAKIR

    #2 geo location is intersting did u calculate its usage ?