SEO Round-Up : August 2012

Here at Erocket we keep an eye on a number of SEO and inbound marketing blogs, taking the pulse of the industry in order to keep up with trends, news and algorithm changes. The dynamism of SEO is both a part of its attraction and an ongoing challenge; no resting on your laurels or taking your eye off the ball in the world of digital. Amongst the many posts that we read there will always be a number that stand out as particularly insightful, useful or though-provoking. Here is the first of our regular monthly round-ups, covering the most notable posts we spotted in August. If you know of others that are worth reading please share them in the comments.

One of the posts that created the most buzz amongst SEOs last month came from Google patent expert Bill Slawski, who wrote on a Rank-Modifying Patent submitted in early 2010. This details a method to artificially adjust rankings after an SEO-related change is made to a website, with the overt or incidental impact being that SEOs are put off the scent when trying to test the algorithm, whilst also allowing Google to identify likely manipulators. Bill explains it better than I can, and the post is recommended reading.

Post-Panda there is a greater emphasis on content marketing as a link-building and brand awareness activity, and with more SEOs likely to jump on the guest blogging bandwagon it is going to become more important than ever to find the ideas that gain the most interest. Our favourite guest blogging expert offered an excellent guide to finding linkbait inspiration for those looking for some creative ideas.

Staying with link building there were a few overviews provided by Search Engine Land during the month. The first was a comprehensive round-up on 50 things every link builder needs to know. Point 16 of the 50 is ‘What Makes A Link A Bad/Spammy Link’ and for anyone new to link building there was a separate post going in to detail on the differences between Good, Bad and Bland Links.

I love posts that reference long-standing marketing theories, and a post by Seer Interactive fits the bill. In it the author applies Porter’s Five Forces Model to the competitive analysis of link building. He takes the traditional five forces and relaces them with the top-level measures to use when assessing competition for a given search term. These are listed as: number of links (there is still a strong correlation between number of backlinks and SERPs), quality of links (average domain authority or page authority), link types (the types of sites sending those links; .org, .edu, .gov etc), social signals (and their impact on a competitor’s reach if not directly on rankings) and competitor strength (the over-arching truism that a site performing strongly in the first four forces above will stand a better chance of naturally attracting more links in the future).

Finally, we always enjoy SEOs sharing inspiration for link building, and an SEOmoz ‘Whiteboard Friday’ video on 8 link building tips fits the bill. But the most entertaining, and the one reporting the most ambitious and creative ideas, had to be Unicorn Meat and Monster Feet. Enjoy!