The 3 New Rules of SEO

Written by Brick Marketing

SEO is a very interesting industry to work in because the game is constantly evolving. The tactics we rely on heavily today could very easily be useless, or even counterproductive, three months from now. This doesn’t mean that SEO is dead or dying, only that it is changing to keep up with the times. Google is in a war against spam and, whether we like it or not, they get to make the rules of SEO. As the biggest search engine around many sites rely on organic search traffic from Google to keep their business open. If you want to do well organically it’s important to follow the rules of SEO as best as you can.

Here are three new rules of SEO:

1. Add nofollow tags to all online press releases and guest blog posts.

John Mueller of Google has equated press releases to paid advertisements and paid ads are supposed to be nofollow. He has “said it would be somewhat okay to have direct URLs linked within press releases that are followed…[but] he’d recommend nofollowing even those links.” He has also recommended that writers add nofollow tags to their guest blog posts as a way to ensure Google doesn’t think they are just using those links to pass PageRank. Major PR distribution sites like PRWeb are retroactively adding nofollow tags to existing press releases in order to comply with this new rule of SEO, as well as automatically making any links in new press releases nofollow.

If you guest write for many sites that don’t automatically make post and author bio links nofollow see if you can update previously published posts on your own, or reach out the blog owner and let them know about this new SEO rule. It’s in their best interest as well to comply with the updated Webmaster Guidelines so they don’t push great writers away.

2. Use only branded anchor text and full URls when linking.

According to the updated Google Webmaster Guidelines “Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites” are now also considered unnatural and could ultimately hurt your website and SEO. After the first Penguin update many SEOs hypothesized that anchor text breakdown was a major contributing factor and recommended that sites focus primarily on branded keywords and ensure any keyword-rich anchor text be as varied as possible to ensure a more natural link profile. But these new rules of SEO mean that keyword-rich anchor text is pretty much out no matter what. While this may be frustrating for site owners if you want to do well organically it’s important to play by the rules as best as you can. As far as I can tell you are allowed to use keyword-rich anchor text on your own site/blog to link internally, but any offsite, inbound links can’t use keywords as anchor text.

3. Leverage the power and SEO value of social authority.

Because Google is insisting that sites “earn” their links naturally by creating great content that focuses on the end user, it’s critical that site owners leverage the power of social media to distribute their content and get it seen and read. As we move forward into the new world of SEO transparency and author authority are going to be more important than ever as Google is more likely to reward sites connected to real people with real online presences. Take advantage of the rel=”author” and rel=”publisher” tags to connect and highlight the content your team produces and build your brand’s social authority.

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