SEO is not rocket science, but it is complex and is growing more difficult every day. While it may be tempting to dabble in it on your own or with an intern or low-end SEO company, keep in mind there are people fiercely battling against you who have computer science degrees and no morals. Look up “black hat SEO” and be prepared to see just what people are willing to do to get their pages seen and clicked. These people stay up all night generating thousands of backlinks and paying people overseas to write thousands of pages of content and then optimizing that content with every method imaginable.
This is precisely why social media has become such a profound influence in the eyes of the search engines. They want to see real people sharing your content, not just the content itself!
In 2012 there were explosive changes in the way the search engines “ranked” sites and it is more critical than ever for you to have a road map of where you are headed long before you step into SEO.
Google’s algorithm has hundreds of factors, some of which we will explore later. Keep in mind that this is an overview of what we consider essential.
Looking at SEO and Internet marketing from a 30,000-foot view, you need to understand the following key factors:
5 Key Factors That Drive Search Engine Rankings
- Social media citations and influence (even if just an indirect factor, largely from links generated or for separate social search results)
- The quality of your authors (content writers) and potentially in the future, their Author Rank, which may be influenced by things such as Twitter authority
- Referrals/engagement vs. high bounce rates (even if an indirect relationship to rankings)
How deep is your SEO commitment?