The Fundamentals of Off-Page SEO

SEOOff-page SEO techniques are the external factors that determine the popularity of a web property and ultimately how well it ranks for the keywords it has targeted. A strong off-site SEO strategy will typically focus on getting one relevant web page to link to another. In a perfect world this would happen naturally and your popularity and rankings would be solely determined by how good the content of your website was. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case so measures must be taken to level the playing field.

Google PageRank

PageRank (PR) is the way Google measures the popularity of a website. It is based upon a complex, constantly evolving algorithm that determines the order that a website ranks (appears) for a particular keyword phrase.  Websites that possess a higher PageRank are typically considered to be of higher quality and will often be crawled and cached more often.

Link Building

Due to the heavy analysis of links by all the major search engines, having a clean link profile is more critical than ever for acquiring traffic. Link building is often considered one of the best ways for rankings and traffic success. There are 3 types of link building but the strategies used to accomplish them are limitless.

  • Natural Links –These types of links require no proactive action, they are attained by creating original, compelling content as well as the PR and marketing prowess to create awareness for it.
  • Manual Links – These types of links are solicited or paid for. Soliciting may include emailing or phone calls. Although not ideal, paying for links can be beneficial if done with the proper tact.
  • Created Links – These types of links are typically created by manually submitting links through guest books, forums, blog comments, and other manual processes. These will often provide the lowest value and are considered spam in some circles. Pursue with caution.

Acquiring links isn’t everything, but many SEO professionals believe that a significant number of SEs use an algorithm based upon linking factors. Links give search engines the ability to scrutinize the popularity of a web page by comparing a number of significant linking metrics.

  • The Google PageRank of the linking page.
  • The theme relevance between the linking pages.
  • The anchor text used for the link.
  • The number of links on the linking page.
  • The number of domains that link to the target page.
  • The number of anchor text variations used to link to the target page.
  • The relationship between the linking and target domains (Are they owned by the same person?).

Speed of Link Acquisition (Link Velocity)

Search engine algorithms not only take into account the anchor text, relevance, and PageRank of links pointing to your site, they also measure the marginal rate that you acquire those links. Fluctuating link acquisition patterns can raise a red flag and possibly lead to penalties. Consistency is the key to link building. Build backlinks every month and adjust your link velocity rate based upon on your current rankings for your targeted keywords.

Social Media & Social Signals

Social media has come a long way in terms of its overall impact on SEO.  In 2012 many SEO experts agreed, after a variety of lengthy testing and studies, that there was a correlation between organic search engine rankings and social signals. While the overall impact they make isn’t known, the studies concluded that there was some impact that existed and many believe it will continue to increase in importance.

Some of the social signals that may affect organic rankings include:

  • Facebook likes
  • Twitter followers
  • Re-tweets with links to your website
  • Google Plus followers

There are some SEO experts that believe that social media is important only because there is an indirect correlation which includes:

  • Increased inbound linking do to brand awareness
  • Decreased bounce rates
  • Higher time on site
  • Increase in repeat visitors

Either way you can see, regardless of how it happens, social media has the ability to generate links through visibility and brand awareness and may eventually surpass links as the most important ranking metric.

The info-graphic below displays the most important points of On-Page SEO & Off-Page SEO.