This is a place devoted to giving you deeper insight
into the news, trends, people and technology behind Bing.
Links, links, links. It’s pretty much at the top of any SEOs “must discuss” list of topics. For a long time, the prevailing thinking was links were the golden egg. They were what you needed to turn the tide and boost your rankings. And that was true.
Today, though, it might pay to broaden your thinking.
I am not saying links are dead or links have no value – let’s get that straight up front.
What I am saying, however, is that it can pay to keep the big picture in view and not get mired too deeply in the weeds. I mean, just watching comments on popular search industry sites from those who work in the industry is enough to convince anyone that link building and managing link campaigns is very much the current “tactic du jour”. But what if that time were better spent?
It’s easy to get fixated one a single tactic, hoping if you double down on that one area it’ll pay dividends. Easier for you, easier on the budget (in some cases) and easier to track results. But it’s a single signal to the engines. Links. Just a single signal. So what are you doing to work with the other signals?
Are you putting equal time into the social side of the equation? Is your social program ramping up to engage people in a meaningful way? Or is it on autopilot still pumping out self-serving links to only your own products and services?
Is the editorial side of your house producing the killer content you need them to? Do they seek new ways to engage readers through not just well written content, but with content that answers questions before they’re asked?
Are your content management system and your page templates sorted out from a technical SEO standpoint? Still got multiple <H1> tags on the page? Still leaving <ALT> tags empty? Missing a <meta description>?
The point here is to not get caught up in one single aspect of the complex world of SEO. Links, while still holding value, have evolved as signals over time. If we see a sudden appearance of obviously spammy links pointed at your site, and your site is otherwise showing a history of trustworthiness, we’re most likely going to just ignore those links. Still, while this can cover the obvious instances, tools like the Disavow Links feature in Bing Webmaster Tools enables you to flag inbound links you don’t like.
To be clear, again, this isn’t a post stating links are dying, or you should ignore them, but it is a post saying watch how much time you invest in them. By and large, building links the right way is beyond your control. While it’s smart to allocate some time to watching this signal via the tools and data available today, don’t place all of your eggs in one basket.
This isn’t foreshadowing anything either, but what if links ceased to be a useful signal to the engines. What would you focus on then?
So many times across the industry you hear conversations about shortcuts. How can I build links quickly? I need more followers on Twitter, quickly. Where can I get free content?
If all the time that was spent seeking shortcuts was invested into producing quality, engaging content, more websites would find success. The main point behind today’s post is to remind you to look around; watch what you invest in and make sure you’re not wasting time seeking shortcuts when the answer to success is right in front of you.
User Experience + Compelling Content FTW!
Love it! Keep doing what you're doing Duane - offering CANDID PERSPECTIVE rather than the Do's-And-Don'ts-Or-Else sort of punitive framework that your main competitor has sunken into. Many of us little guy's got sucked into a world of 'Backlink Obsession' thinking it was the main collateral that drives internet visibility. The true collateral is well-structured, decent content - and links are merely the wallet wrapped around it.
Bing continues to RESPECT my On-Page content and optimizations. I'm glad your algos don't seem to want to overwrite, substitute or swap my words - or take a heavy-handed approach to link building sins of the past. Keep your 'Signals' looking for and rewarding POSITIVE indicators. Bing doesn't need to ferret out the 90% of the internet it doesn't like, it simply needs to focus on the 10% it loves. Quite simple - and far less CPU, data storage, and manual reviewer intensive! :)
I agree, the link remains a major requirement.And <H1> is the best on page element.thanks
Thank you for your insight view. I think you could take more action on transparency, and hope you can take more market from Google, their monopoly is never good for competition, in Germany they have occupied nearly all search engine space, but better would be, calling them search marketing engine ;)
Google, which have made the hyperlink so powerful in the algorithms in the past, latest trend, which mutated the hyperlink to a possible negative signal, have made link building being a risk. The brand signals function very well for the big players, but remember that the internet is made by the bottom of the pyramid, the people. In Germany in a SEO Blog the situation is compared to the McCarthy area in the US: www.sistrix.com/.../1032-matt-mccarthy-and-the-tale-of-the-purchased-links.html
So going back to old SEO school is right, a good idea to be more safe.
I completely agree with Duane's statement on creating quality content. While it does take a lot of work, and trial and error, the success rate is much higher when spending the time necessary to provide visitors with what they are looking for. As an editor, I've seen a lot of great websites. Some of these sites will surely take off once they get that initial recognition that leads to widespread popularity. Although algorithms can't predict what is going to be popular, with hard work I believe most people will get that initial break that leads to sustainable growth.
Sites that offer value and engaging content will have longevity. Sites chasing the latest schemes, short cuts, will achieve short term success and will always be looking over their shoulder. One solid piece of content will pull thousands of links, build your credibility, improve conversion, and your brand.
Best way to avoid poorly scoring sites is to use white hat SEO practices. Comment blogs with "real" responses, include relative links; register with appropriate forums and engage in them; build great content that people will wat to link...
It is good to hear a SE discuss this subject openly. I agree with the person about "Search Marketing Engine' however I think that company's plans are too intrusive into everyone's life. As to the social marketing (FB, Twitter, etc) I simply can not believe that those should have that large of an impact. Yes, I know the premise is that people in a community share things with each other (neighbor to neighbor) but that trust does not and can not exist on the internet. I am now hearing that video is the new metric, because it gets so many searches. However that as a metric also has to be discounted as the biggest SE owns the biggest video sharing site.
PLEASE, give us some realistic guidance as to what you truly look at and how you place a value on that!
A new website owner will do things wrong (I know I have), but if he doesn't try some shortcuts to get his site noticed then his site will probably cease to exist within the first year. The bad part of him exiting is that he just might have something very meaningful to share if he had lasted.
© 2013 Microsoft