In recent years, many spammers have attempted to game the system by typing in irrelevant keywords and backlinks in an attempt to boost SEO, ruining it for everyone else.
A couple of the true ways to boost your SEO are by creating original content and by a lesser-known method: online reviews.
When you are listed on an array of different review sites related to your business, and you have key positive online reviews on each, this can definitely help to build your SEO. So while yes, it is important to make sure you are listed on the larger review sites such as Yelp and Google+, the little guys can help you more than you even realize. Your success online is really dependent upon a combination of small efforts.
Part of why people may be mistaking SEO for being dead is best explained in this excerpt from a blog post written on SEObook.com by Aaron Wall:
“Google has changed & obfuscated so many things that it is very hard to isolate cause and effect. They have made changes to how much data you get, changes to their analytics interface & how they report unique visitors, changes to how tightly they filter certain link behaviors, they have rolled in frequent Panda updates, and they have nailed a number of the paid link networks.”
It is also further expressed in this excerpt from a interview with Sam McRoberts by Jayson DeMers on Forbes.com:
“McRoberts: Well, if you look at the major algorithm updates that Google has released over the last few years, there have been a number that were very clearly aimed at gray hat SEO tactics. Panda and Penguin, in particular, are the most stand out examples, though there have been others.
Panda was targeted at sites with thin or duplicate content, or sites with too many ads on-page. Penguin hit over-optimized anchor text in link profiles. There were also updates that hit keyword rich domain names. All of these represent tactics used heavily by gray hat SEOs.”
So it’s no wonder the future seems bleak for SEO. But as previously stated, Google is constantly changing their algorithms so there is no real sure-fire way to tell what works and what doesn’t work. It is important to just continue creating original content whenever possible (or at least sharing relevant content) and building on your online reputation.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!