Over the last couple years Google was on a rampage. Manual actions, panda, penguin, pigeon, hummingbird, sandboxes, too much anchor text, ahhh!!! All of the commotion around SEO topics is enough to freak anyone out, especially if you don’t read between the lines and study this stuff on the daily. Nonetheless, there are still important SEO practices out there you need to do, even if Google has their entire PR team trying to scare you away from them.
Links are still critical. No question about it. Anyone who is ranking for a competitive keyword online has done some active linking, or they at least have acquired links which is why they are in that spot. Do not be afraid of links or even trying to get them, you just need to make sure you acquire the links within Google’s guidelines.
Building Niche Categories
Make way too many categories on website, to a point where they have nothing to offer a user, and you the risk of thin content. Webmasters are afraid of this, and they should be. However, if you make the categories in a responsible way and they are filled with great products, content, etc., and are on a well optimized template with an optimized image, rel next rel prev and no duplicate content issues, you will be in the clear. Basically, as long as the categories make sense for a user, you will be good to go and get more traffic as a result. I can show you hundreds of examples on large websites to prove this point.
Using a Read More Button
There was some news that came out about the text under a read more button not being indexed by Google. I personally have done a test on this, on 15 websites, and saw that all the content was indexed. Furthermore, Google uses the read more button on a large amount of their own documentation! These guys right??… Anyways, where do we go from here in light of this new scare?
Well, with John Mueller publically saying that they might not read the content, most SEO’s will shy away from this feature. That being said, I will still be using it if it make sense for the user. The reason being, as SEO has evolved usability metrics have become very important and will become more important. So if this adds value to the page, I would rather help the user and up those metrics than care if Google indexes that content or not. If I need it indexed, maybe we put it in a visible area.
Linking Out to Others
Websites have received penalties for linking to other sites. So much, that when I wrote a blog recently for SEM Rush, they said they no follow all the links! I am here to tell you that you should link out. The rule is, link to other websites you want to be associated with and that supports your documentation. This will actually help your rankings overtime. Just don’t link to sites with exact anchor text for their money keywords.
Doing Press Releases
Do press releases! They drive traffic, get you noticed, rank in Google, they are great. You can also still add links in your press release if it is relevant. But just like linking out on your own site, you don’t want to link to your site with anchor text for money terms. It could end up being an issue.
Summing it Up
There are a lot of important SEO practices that Google tries to steer you away from. They want it all to be natural, but that is just not the way the world works. Online businesses want to rank highly for the keywords that relate to them. When we rank, it drives traffic, sales, and leads and build branding credibility. Don’t let Google scare you away from things that are perfectly OK and will actually help your SEO.