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SEO Strategies For 2011 And Moving On From Algorithm Changes

I got a chance to attend the Affiliate Summit West 2011 in January got a chance to meet some heavyweights in the SEO world such as Todd Friesen of Performics, Greg Boser of Blueglass Interactive, Stephen Spencer of NetConcepts. I had a lot of takeaway information from the seminar, one of the most useful was the ask the seo pros talk panelled by the aforementioned gurus.

I’ve noticed a lot of talk in forums about many sites getting deranked or even completely removed from SERPS altogether. Let’s not forget the content farm debacle of late, and all the talk around that either. SEO has changed, and black hat methods are fast becoming redundant, and if you haven’t switched to more long term white hat means now is the time. Here are some great takeaway SEO tips I got from the summit.

1. Article Spinning

Article spinning is the act of rewriting articles by computing alternative words and sentence structures. Most spinning articles tend to read very poor, and thus end up on unmoderated low quality sites, and therefore the links tend to be low quality too. Additionally the poor return on investment on spending so much time spinning articles are better spend on high quality content that sticks around builds linkjuice over time, secondly if it works it still leaves room for your competitors to do a backlink analysis on your site and report you to Google.

The days of article spinning is numbered, it may work to an extent, however Google recently tightened the noose around content farms that accept low quality articles, which also means the linkjuice passed has reduced as well.

2. Scalable Whitehat Solutions

Focus on quality not quantity; guest posts on high quality blogs with high RSS readerships and daily visitors are valuable. Aside from creating high quality content, you should build relationships with other bloggers and influential social media players and leverage your contacts to get your content promoted across the social media networks.

There are many high PR homepages that do not treacle pagerank over to subpages, so much of the work lies in promoting the individual blog post, which can be speeded up with high quality content and good social media contacts.


The most scalable method is to outsource article writing, you may need to split tasks up between researchers and writers to utilise people skillsets better, and focus your attention on building relationships with influential figures in the blogosphere.


Viral marketing is a fantastic way to organically build links, giveaways, personality tests, top 10 lists, articles, widgets can help massively a fantastic way is to place linkbait/viral content on your site or produce widgets that other bloggers can install on their site which link back to you. You simply write a few press releases about the linkbait content and place on high traffic blogs and websites, and let the linkbait content rise in popularity through social media.

Authority over low quality

The future lies in being the authority in your niche, not just another cookie cutter player in the field, aim to have the absolute best knowledge in your field, and as you do you will naturally get more organic links over time, rather than having to work hard to get people to link to you.

3. Backlink Anchor Spam

More and more websites are being penalised for unnaturally high anchor text backlinks. Most organic sites tend to have the url as the anchor for the vast majority of cases, but many manipulative seos focus solely on keyword rich anchor text which is unnaturally high.

Google has evolved away from relying on anchor text to index sites on appropriate keywords. While anchor text still counts for a lot, it’s important not to overdo it. It will look more closely into your page content, and the content of the linking page, if the two pages are semantically similar then google will classify the link appropriately regardless of the anchor in the link. A high authority, domain name anchored link is worth a lot more than a keyword rich low quality link.

Additionally on organic sites anchor text are more diverse, a page about cheap boots will get a variety of different keywords and synonyms, blackhatters tend to overkill it with the same anchor, to understand this Google search for ~cheap art, it will use lots of different synonyms for “cheap” in the search query such as affordable, budget, low cost etc. So a site aiming for just “cheap art” as an anchor may trigger a penalty because it appears unnatural for organic backlinks to use the exact same adjectives to describe a site, if you search ~cheap art, you will end up overwhelming with results of inexpensive art.

Exact match domains names are an anomaly, it seems because they can’t be penalised for having too many keyword rich anchors for the domains, because the keyword IS their brand name. However this may get rectified soon as there are many inferior exact match domain websites ranking up against high quality content websites.

Google now has much better insight onto real user behaviour from Google toolbar, and Google chrome. And can use these metrics to evaluate quality of sites and quality of links a lot better. And can use actual click through traffic data as a sign of quality, and nullify the effect of dormant black hat links that nobody ever clicks.

4. Link Networks

Sitewide links have a low tendency of being organic and more often than not paid links, in particular footer links across a large website. It doesn’t hurt to have them, however their worth is largely subsided, for cross linking related web properties it’s far better to have a dedicated links page with links and a brief description of the site.

Also with regard to paying money for insertion in link networks, what tends to happen is that certain link network owners will have the same clients, and therefore across multiple websites there is a correlation of the same recurring links of unrelated websites appearing across the network, which is easy to spot algorithmically and therefore easy to penalise/discount.

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