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Is it possible to increase search visibility without building links?
At BrightonSEO in April Semantic Search was a popular topic that featured in many talks and I also had the pleasure of taking part in a Semantic Search Roundtable discussion, sponsored by Intelligent Positioning.
It is also worth reading Krystian Szastok's follow up post 'I Became an Entity: How I'm on the Knowledge Graph' which gives further evidence of becoming an entity with some additional tips.
Andrew and Krystian's posts are both excellent reads, but they focus on individuals and the knowledge graph.
I also want to focus on businesses.
How can businesses get themselves into the knowledge graph, and also take advantage of the other features of semantic search?
First, a bit of theory about why this is so important.
We always look forward to the panel debates at BrightonSEO as the discussion is more open. It's even better when they involve ex-members of the Google Search Quality team (and a "former" spammer).
- You cannot recover from a penalty with just a disavow file, you have to do link removal
- Google is using the disavow tool to crowdsource bad links/domains
- A bad link is any link "made for SEO"
- Link building is fine, as long as you build for traffic
- Google can tell if a link is getting clicked or not
- Negative SEO is far less common that it is talked about, it is usually a spam attack or result of miscommunication
- Sites hit by negative SEO are never clean to start with
- There are hundreds of reasons that your site might drop in Google, not always a penalty, so do discovery on your own site, don't look for answers on the internet
- Google focus on users, not SEOs/webmasters, so there is always going to be collateral damage
- You can't recover from a penalty and then delete your disavow file, Google keeps track of everything and will find out
- Second penalties are much harder to recover from that first ones
Get hands on with Webmaster Tools on our brand new Advanced SEO Strategy Training course - the most up to date course on the market.
Google Webmaster Tools is an incredible tool for running health checks, monitoring your site's progress or uncovering the source of a problem. It's also an essential SEO tool.
If you're not familiar with Webmaster Tools or you haven't been keeping up with the latest changes & additions then we are here to help.
Learn about every feature of Google WMT and find out how you can use it for quick and long term SEO wins.
If you want to get hands on with Webmaster Tools then come down to Brighton for our 2-day SEO course which will give you hands on experience using WMT for SEO. We are always updating our SEO courses with the latest trends and best practices. If you're more interested in the analytics side of Webmaster Tools then we also recommend our 1 day Google Analytics or Advanced Google Analytics course.
I've thrown in a lot of tips along the way based on our experiences at Silicon Beach so you will have some good ideas to use Webmaster Tools to improve your site's performance.
Let's start from the top...
Communities are your best social media tool when starting a business.
Stop shouting into a void and start communicating; they are a great way to engage with potential customers, investors and brand advocates.
Offline networking is still a powerful tool but online communities can give you a global reach and are often more time and cost effective for your limited resources.
In this post you'll find out why communities are so vital and how you can start using them.
To learn more about using social media & communities to grow your business and engage with consumers and influencers, come on our Social Media workshops and Blogging courses. Together they will give you a powerful toolset to boost your brand online.
Why It's Important
You've started new business with a new idea. How do you get people to care?
You could spend money on advertising, but it would have to be a very good campaign to convince prospective buyers to take interest in a company they've never heard of.
Social proof is a strong selling point; it's not surprising why social media platforms are trying to take advantage of it with social ads (your friend X like our product) and why consumers are so protective of how their actions are used as social proof.
Recommendations are most valuable when they come naturally. It's easy to tell the difference between a genuine review and one prompted by a promotion or giveaway.
If you can create a community around your business or convince an existing community to take notice of your business then they will do a lot of the hard work for you, giving you the initial investment that you can later use on advertising to grow outside of the community.
New SEO Course - Advanced SEO Training for Managers. The best SEO course you'll attend in 2014.
Could your business survive a manual or algorithmic Google penalty? That's the most important question for SEOs in 2014.
Over the past two years we have seen the number and frequency of algorithm updates and manual penalties increase as Google's Webmaster Spam team gets better at identifying tactics. This only looks set to continue over the next two years.
So how can you adjust your tactics to get results without risking everything?*
In this post I'm going to run through an SEO strategy that meets Google's Webmaster Guidelines, takes advantage of new and developing technologies and diversifies your traffic sources so that you're not so heavily reliant on Google search traffic.
If you're completely stuck with SEO or unsure you're going about it the right way then you can learn everything in this post on our hands-on, workshop-style SEO training courses.
I've included tips for content, link building, technical, offline, local, social and mobile considerations to create an overall picture of what search engines see as a 'good' site and help you give your SEO strategy a makeover for 2014.