A Beginner's Guide to SEO: Off Page Activity - Itani & Company

A Beginner’s Guide to SEO: Off Page Activity

Nov 22, 2015 | Advertising, Digital | 0 comments

By Barry Lee Cummings

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Image credit: Hermann Traub/Pixabay

A few weeks ago we took a surface dive into the on page side of SEO, and today we are going to have a look at the off page side of things. Off page SEO activity accounts for about 70% of SEO work so you can see that whilst getting your on page right is important more of your focus needs to be on the off page work. I caveat that last sentence with the fact that you do need to get your on page SEO right to allow your off page work to be as effective as possible.

One of the myths surrounding SEO is that it’s super complicated. True Google and Bing’s algorithm’s are complex, but taking some time to understand SEO reveals it’s not complicated. It’s time consuming.

The search engines’ job is to show the customer (whoever is searching) the most relevant content relating to the search term, phrase or sentence they type into the search. They have to do this because this is a free service they offer. They can only offer this as a free service if people continue to pay to advertise on their platforms. This is how they stay in business. If people searching don’t get what they want when searching, advertisers aren’t going to pay to use the PPC network as they can’t be sure that the ads will actually be shown to the right people.

Think back to early days of search engines when some of you may have used Alta Vista or an equivalent. Remember how you would search for ‘holidays to {insert country of your choice here}’ and up would come results about; laptops, bottled water, holidays in general, the history of aviation and then the odd result that might relate to your holiday destination of choice.

Google came onto the scene, quite late I might add, and blew every one out of the water. Why? Well their algorithm was about relevancy. When someone searched holiday in Thailand, they figured you should just get information about holidays in Thailand. See, not really rocket science.

People soon cottoned on to the fact that being at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) was a good thing. And so began the onslaught of tips and tricks to try and beat Google’s algorithm and get to the top of the SERP’s in order to get mass visibility. Commonly known today as black hat SEO.

Its counterpart white hat SEO is what we look to practice today. As it was back then, relevancy is the key. As we move through Web 2.0 which is all about user generated content (UGC) we see how valuable the word of a friend of family member can be in recommendations. Why is is so valuable? Because in our eyes, our friends and family have 2 things – trust and authority. We basically take what they say at face value. We hope that when we ask for a recommendation of a good air conditioning repair company, a restaurant, a hair dresser, car mechanic etc etc, that they are going to steer us in the right direction.

Off page SEO is getting other people to back you up when you say you are about a certain subject. You are looking for those ‘friends and family’ online to transfer trust and authority to you. They do this online by linking with your web pages.

I liken it to the educational world. All those that have done a masters or perhaps a doctorate are familiar with writing theses. Something you will be familiar with even as an undergraduate is the research phase whereby you don’t actually have an opinion. You have to find other people’s opinions to potentially support or disprove your hypothesis. ‘John Smith, 1965, A History of Everything, pg95, lines 4-7’ says…….

Referencing others to shift the attention to you. This is what off page SEO is all about. Having other sites online that already have trust and authority in the search engines eyes to share some of that with you. It used to be about PageRank (PR)- links from sites with a high PR meant good times for you. PR went from 0-10 and a link for a 10 was not just ten times better than a one, it was thousands of times better.

However, not long ago it was found that you could manipulate PR and the algorithm became wise to this. SEO changed a little bit and I want to leave you with 3 statements to pose to your current or future SEO provider. I’m not going to explain it any further other than to tell you to pose these statements. The responses will let you know whether you should move ahead with them or not.

Tell me about citation flow

Tell me about trust flow

Tell me about your PBN

 Alternatively if you are going to look into SEO for yourself – you now have some research points.

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Barry Lee Cummings is a digital translator and strategist. He takes the techno speak of the digital marketing landscape and translates it into a language businesses can understand, build into a tailored strategy and execute. For more information Google ‘Barry Lee Cummings’ or head over to www.maximumnetgain.com


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