QUOTE(PatrickGer @ Jun 22 2010, 04:09 AM)
Michael, I'm not sure I get your point about building that kind of visibility without getting links being 'off-page SEO'. I'd agree that search engine traffic/traffic from google shouldnt be your only way to get traffic (all eggs in one basket,etc...I remember a thread where we discussed this thoroughly where randy contributed a lot), but how is that related to SEO and getting more traffic through search engines?
You can focus on one keyword or 10 keywords or 10,000 keywords.
Let's assume for the sake of discussion that we've all agreed there is more money to be made in optimizing for 10,000 keywords.
Can the average, everyday Webmaster do that with links? No.
Can the average, everyday Webmaster do that without links? Easily.
The secret is to focus on building brand visibility for a site in as many relevant topics as there are. If you're not spending your time trying to get links then you must be spending your time showing people how your Website can help them.
That happens in 10 bazillion ways. Here are a few examples:
- You get some listings in moderate traffic niche directories that use a CGI redirection script
- You get some people to discuss topics otherwise specific to your Website in their blogs and forums, knowing there will be no links
- You take out some classified ads on services that drive traffic but which don't allow crawlable, value-passing links to the Websites
- You get people on Twitter and other social media discussion sites to talk about topics uniquely specific to your Website (regardless of whether they embed any links)
- You work with news media to talk about topics that are specifically unique and relevant to your Website
- You publish articles, press releases, guest blog posts, etc. where you're not allowed to link to your Website -- thus forcing you to actually share information (as opposed to brief marketing bait) about topics that are unique and specific to your Website
- You buy banner advertising on a variety of networks
- Distribute embeddable videos with your Website name/URL branded into the video (I don't believe these are crawlable, value-passing links yet)
- You do some podcasts where you are asked about your business, etc. (maybe on a call-in) where you know you won't get a link
In other words, you pursue opportunities for visibility that a typical SEO would not dream of spending time on because there is no hope of getting a link. This is called marketing and when you do it in the online, World Wide Web environment you create:
- Visibility for your brand
- Visibility for your Website
- Curiosity about topics that are unique and specific to your Website
- Interest in you and whatever products or services you have to offer
Getting links is the easiest part of off-site SEO but it's probably the least value-offering aspect of off-site SEO because most people just don't get very good links. Any link that creates high visibility, brand value, and drives traffic on its own is a fantastic link to have even if it is nofollowed
and embedded in an uncrawlable iframe
, so keep in mind that obtaining THOSE kinds of links is great off-site SEO, too.
You can chase what people search for or you can teach people to search for you. I prefer to do the latter as much as possible.
I remember a post by 'stuntdubl' and some other stuff on that topic saying that social media signals (tweets,etc.?) and usage data (this idea isntn ew of course) mattering increasingly more.
Is that why building off-page visibility would help for SEO (not 'only' for getting traffic in general)?
Social media services can be great platforms for building visibility. Trying to leverage them for links is inefficient and time-wasting, in my opinion. Social media is really about the discussion, not the links. You want to participate in the discussion regardless of whether you get PageRank and anchor text.
I think I remember reading in one of your blog posts that a query space is either created b/c something is news or b/c it is a fundamental need (again, I hope Im not misquoting/misunderstanding anything). Isn't the only valuable query space to build up one that revolves around a fundamental need (and thus a lasting source of traffic)?..and wouldnt publicists involving the media in news stories only drive temporary queries?..or can the ROI from new query spaces be high enough even if theyre only of temporary nature (and not a fundamental need)?
The only valuable query space is the one from which you can draw traffic. If you can build interest in a query space, and if you can participate in that query space (i.e., place highly visible content in it), you can gain a lot of traffic from it.
The SEO Theory blog is a perfect example of how one goes about building a query space. Before I launched that blog people only made occasional reference to "seo theory". There was hardly any content for it and no one was searching on it. After 2+ years of writing 5 theory articles a week (more-or-less), I had plenty of traffic coming in from queries for "seo theory" and related expressions AND occasionally people would buy ads on it. Since I've stopped writing the blog I've noticed a few people trying to position themselves in the space (without much success -- but their failures seem to be due to a lack of passion and commitment).
I've done this with many queries, not just queries like "xenite" and "seo theory". People will search for whatever they are interested in. You just have to give them a reason to be interested.
And you don't need to go out and get a lot of links to do that. In fact, link building is really unnecessary when you build a query space -- at least the kind of industrial strength link building so many SEOs hang their hats on. I hate building links.
PS: Actually Ive been thinking lately how certain junk foods..stuff such as McDonalds (or a crack dealer :-)) is really just a need that is created and marketed that people have to fill, because if they dont fill it theyll feel worse. However if that need had never been created, they wouldnt be off any worse really (not sure if those examples are great ones, but obviously marketers do create new needs in offline marketing)....Im really wondering ,right now what kind of possibilities exist to create such lasting needs to build up new query spaces for SEO...and if they do exist, at all.
That's the ticket.