Google Offers Two New ‘Solutions’ for Effective SEO
The tolling bell as the funeral parade walks towards the graveyard is for the importance of links and anchor text as a previously integral, no, vital part of any SEO campaign. Or so it would seem post-Hummingbird – Google's major algorithm change this fall. It is not an update, it is a paradigm shift, and to some it seems that much of the SEO industry is trailing in the wake of the wake, as it were.
For over a decade, links and anchor text have formed a solid base for any SEO campaign. There has been on-page optimization – including meta tags, keywords, page titles, headlines and quality content – and off-page optimization. This started off with links, and hence the keyword-heavy text which 'anchored' those links to the page. It has, however, rapidly exploded into a SEO To-Do list of epic proportions.
With the rise of social media, broadband for easy access to video, audio, smart content etc., and the proliferation of apps and tech start-ups, no Internet Marketing company nor website can ever count their job done or their budget sufficient these days.
Google, in order to maintain its market share in the search market, has to deliver to its users high-quality, relevant content. The previous algorithm (which is a combination of at least 200 factors that taken together result in deciding your ranking on the search results pages) was notably failing.
The problems are manifold and the threats are from multiple angles. Some examples are:
- Growth in quantity of data globally – for instance, more photos have been taken in 2013 than in all of history to date.
- Gaming of the search engines – a lucrative, frequently offshore, business has sprung up around achieving high rankings in the SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Pages) by 'cheating'.
- Rise in mobile devices and, therefore, mobile search. Almost 50% of all searches now are on a mobile device and people want a natural language, or conversational search. Apple caters to this demand with Siri. Google has added a microphone to its search box.
- Social networks and social media. Users spend more time now on Facebook than searching the Net. And while there, they ask their peers for answers to queries, rather than visit a search engine.
Google's solution to the dilemma of quality and relevance has been to re-introduce two factors which have long been weighty in the algorithm, but which have been losing ground against other SEO activities – Reputation and Trust.
Enter Two New Terms In 2013 – 'Co-Citation' And 'Co-Concurrence'
Co-citation - What Google requires SEO companies and websites to do is not go out and seek inbound links from websites with the enthusiasm previously exhibited (and often penalized). Instead to be 'mentioned' or cited, preferably in the same breath or at least on the same page, as others who are trusted and reputable, be it a brand, an information source, an influencer, an expert or an established corporation. Preferably by one of the above.
Co-concurrence - Expects the proximity of keywords to a link, rather than within the anchor text of the link, which has become common practice. In the early days of SEO, the anchor text was often used as an extra space for further keywords in a sentence so as to appear natural – not to Google, but to users. Time to revert.
There are undoubtedly going to be some who seek to game this. However, it should be seen as an attempt by Google to improve not just the quality of search, but also the overall abundance of online content.
SEO companies have their work cut out finding ways to deliver on co-citation and co-concurrence. It will surely be an interesting time for all as Google continues to juggle the many cannon balls aimed at its empire in this battle. Is your content ready for this?
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