I will begin to break down more specifically some of the things that you can do to optimize your blog (or other content).
The information on this blog is coming from Moz’s report Search Engine Ranking Factors 2015, which was presented and discussed in more depth at a conference I attended over the summer – SMX Advanced 2015 in Seattle. I will begin to break down more specifically some of the things that you can do to optimize your blog (or other content).
This week I will be discussing links! Links from other websites have a greater impact on your SEO ranking than internal links from your own website. But, it is all connected (that is the job of links after all), and it’s important to get your link strategy right!
Link building is the practice of getting other people to link to your site. Pages that tend to have more links from other websites directing to it are generally seen as more trustworthy (hence why Wikipedia is usually at the top of the list).
Google actually recommends to avoid intentionally link building because link correlations are more significant over time. However, without links, your page is unlikely to rank.
You want only reputable sites linking to you however! Unless a “nofollow” is used, any PageRank that another site has will be shared with you. If you have a large number of spammy links headed your way, that will negatively affect your PageRank (there are steps you can take to prevent those links from affecting you, but it’s a messy pain).
It’s always helpful to have valuable text linked. The link text on your page to another page affects the other page more than it does the initial. For example, if you say “To learn more, click here”, and have the “click here” text linked, then that isn’t very helpful to anyone.
But, If you say “Learn more on Nathan’s Blog” with “Nathan’s Blog” being the linked text, then link to my site, that associates my site more with the phrase “Nathan’s Blog”. Having “click here” associated with my website doesn’t do much for me.
Same way with linking to previous blogs on your site. You want to avoid saying “read last week’s blog” with any of those words linked. You want to name it by title – and more ideally, the page’s title. This all goes back to Keyword Strategies, and how keywords affect SEO.
The link title attribute (<a title=”This is the title attribute” href=”#”>) however, does not significantly affect SEO. You can safely ignore that without much impact.
If you notice on my blog, all of my URLs have actual words in them, not random hashes or the date of publication. Google likes words. It can’t do much with a date in the URL, unless that date has some specific purpose, and you want to associate that date as a keyword with your page.
You also don’t want long URLS. Shorter is good, so you don’t need words like “and”, “of”, “the”, etc. Keep it to the actual keywords and not the filler. You don’t want it too short though, as you want the other major keywords on there as well.
Long URLs actually has the lowest correlation for the top pages.
Next week I will continue discussing some other factors that affect your PageRank!