A Brief History
For a surprisingly long time, it used to be that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) was all about stuffing your content full of keywords and getting as many backlinks as you could from anywhere you could get them. This led to a lot of people gaming the system, and in many cases, low-quality search results.
It also meant that you could, just by spending money, hire someone to throw a bunch of keywords onto your pages, and then spam links to your website out into the wild, wild web, and see a measurable increase in search engine visits, and leads to your business. These kinds of tactics were usually called ‘blackhat’.
As search engines evolved, they devised ways to try to combat people gaming the system. Over time, blackhat tactics started becoming less effective, and now will even result in penalties – get caught link spamming now and Google may remove your site from its indexes entirely.
Now, in 2013….
The game has changed. Now, in 2013 and beyond, old tactics are becoming less relevant, and Social Media is playing an increasingly important role in how your blog content ranks in Search Engines.
Search Metrics do an annual correlation study of ranking factors for Google.com. This is perhaps the best study on search engine ranking factors that exists. It’s a correlative study, and correlation does not equal causation – so some caution is needed when you’re looking at the numbers below, however I believe there’s a number of important takeaways we can get from it.
What they found is that in 2013 – traditional SEO tactics (like keywords in the url, in the title, keyword density, and backlinks) are still relevant, but now are basically just required to play the game. Social media is starting to play a large part of the SEO algorithm.
Social signals continue to correlate very well with better rankings – SearchMetrics