An interesting take on SEO was presented to me yesterday from one of our sales agents which made me aware that most SEO companies are still using methods and tactics hailing from a dated algorithm.
Examples such as a monthly maintenance fee (to ensure your rankings won’t slip vs. targeting more related keywords), retooling old pages and the same old methods that worked in 1995 when search engines were younger and less savvy no longer carry the same weight they once had.
Now, with an optimized content management system that can be refined, SEO plug ins and open source code added or developed to do everything from reducing duplicate content, creating relevance through theming and siloing information, sculpt page rank and hundreds of SEO tactics that had to be applied the old fashion way (page by page) are now available as add-ons.
However, there is still that breed of SEO that instead of addressing SEO from the onset (starting fresh and integrating the old pages), they would rather take a clients money, go back to the well, tweak and refine aged content that has been stuck in search engine limbo and attempt to resurrect or transform it into top 10 material.
For those who are stuck in that mindset, toiling over meta tags and keyword tags I have a few words for you, content creation, optimized templates, naming conventions and impeccable site architecture are present tense modalities worth implementing.
Although I agree on some level, there are many things worth salvaging, the fact is that a 10 page website is still a 10 page website, no matter how great those 10 pages are. Search engines reward content, so give them what they want while not losing the focus of your site.
Once upon a time you could keep a site lean and still capture some competitive rankings (by sheer chronology alone). However, to say that search engine algorithms have evolved and that they are simply more picky and demanding on what they “serve up” to end users for consumption is an understatement.
Say for example, you are dealing with a competitive industry, I don’t necessarily see that website outranking a 50 or 100 page site (that was optimized from the onset) that features (a) more useful information and (b) a wider range of potential semantic phrases and keywords for search engine spiders to sink their teeth into.
I have often referred to the the basis of organic / natural search and how it can be likened to harvesting cycles and sowing seeds that must be nurtured over time in order to yield a flourishing search result that continually evolves to takes its place in the top 10 results.
Each SEO strategist has their method, but strategic planning, timing and execution transcend method and are integral to the success of a stable search engine optimization campaign.
Pages founded on inert variables have a tendency to rise to the top then fall flat after the metric is devalued. With every variable in flux, it is imperative to diversify your SEO tactics and constantly remain ahead of the curve (which typically requires a new approach). This is the advantage to the authority site model where interrelated topics overlap and reinforce each other vs. the mini-site model where if you build it, the idea is that they will come.
We know that one of the prime directives of search engines is to provide useful and specific information to end users based on the queries they enter in a search box.
Although the real magic happens behind the scenes as millions of pages are sifted for relevance (after someone initiates a search) the fact remains that topical relevance and the sheer volume of information you have within your site collectively and the extent of information on your individual pages determine where your sites is ranks according to that search.
In short, your site is scanned, assessed and sorted based on key indicators such as domain age, site architecture, internal linking, link weight coming into each page, outbound links leaving a page, where they link to, how relevant and encompassing the content is as well as hundreds of diverse criteria.
Going back to the original premise of trying to retool a site to MAKE it perform, perhaps a more fluid approach is needed to bring SEO into the present tense where a different prescription would be more applicable. That subscription is create content now, for the sake of acquiring the ranking in 30, 60, 90 or 120 days.
We know that fresh content attracts search engines to your pages for reassessment, we also know that you can utilize a reverse funnel technique to bring more expression to specific areas of your website through using tactful linking. Think of it as time released SEO vs. the retool and tweaking days of the past.
The idea here is, you can still provide search engines with what they want (internally) as well as provide external / inbound links simultaneously to expedite the maturation process of authority for your content.
In short, the days of just building links or going back to the well are drawing to a close for high rankings. It is easier to (1) start fresh with an optimized template or blog (2) create an entire sub folder or category of related content (3) provide the appropriate balance of internal and external links and infuse your site with authority which as we know makes pages rise to the top of multiple search results.
Not to say that old school on page SEO does not work, it does, but sometimes going back to the well (with the exception of linking to fresh content from dated pages) is just overkill.
What needs to evolve is the perspective, not always the method. In fact, you could have captured multiple rankings collectively with the same effort and created more relevance and rankings for future tense optimization, than trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole and only address what content you originally had to work with.
Search engines need a reason to come back to your site, they need a reason to grade your content with a higher relevance score than the other thousands or millions of competing pages all vying for your position.
If is up to you to find the appropriate balance of useful information and landing pages that convert to carve out a spot in the algorithm that has your domain etched in the memory of the spiders as the GO TO source for information on your type of product, industry or service.
That is the real function of present tense SEO, to create relevance to boldly stay ahead of the relevance curve to keep up with algorithms as they evolve and drop dated metrics and the pages that are support by them to the back of the line.