January 15, 2016
SEO Strategies for 2018
Today’s guest post is from SEO expert Roman Sukharenko. He’s cultivated multi-million dollar digital campaigns in both the US and Asia, audited over one hundred websites, and been on a journey to master SEO for over six years. Here’s his take on current trends for other SEO experts.
The theme for SEO in 2018 is adapt or die. With every passing Google algorithm update, it gets harder and harder to cheat the system. If your goal in the coming year is to get results at any cost through black hat tactics, you’re in for a rude awakening. We have finally arrived in a time where quality surpasses quantity by a landslide. Quality content that searchers love has become the prerequisite for search rankings and anything less will feel the wrath of Google’s penalty. In this post, I’ll dive into current SEO trends, predictions for the coming year, and how you can win in 2018. _Warning: _This post is for people who live and breathe SEO. If you’re just starting out, check out Moz’s beginner’s guide, then come back when you’re hungry for more.
1. Social signals ranking you higher in search results
After seeing sources like Mashable and Business Insider conclude that Google+ has failed, it seems like Google has given authority back to social signals. So the more your website is mentioned on social platforms, the more likely your website will rank in search results. Although we don’t know the full implications of this yet since it’s fairly new, I’ve begun seeing hints confirming this is true. Neil Patel provides an excellent example in a recent post: Neil highlights that Etsy has zero backlinks, but are still at the top of the rankings for “handmade gift tags.” Could their social signals be increasing their SEO results? Looks like it.
2. Link disavowing
If you keep hitting walls with your SEO results (with strategies that should be working), it might be an ugly past haunting you. Many of the blackhat techniques and old school tactics from the early days of SEO are no longer relevant. For your current SEO results to succeed, one strategy is to remove spammy, artificial, or low-quality links to your website with link disavowing. This strategy removes links that are damaging your credibility with Google’s algorithm. Marie Haynes wrote the Start-to-Finish Guide to Using Google’s Disavow Tool to help you get started.
3. Replace inactive links with active links for sites in your industry
This is a great way to help other people with SEO, and grow backlinks to your own website. Here’s the three step process:
- Use the dead link checker to find broken links on websites relevant to your market
- Let them know about the broken links via email
- Suggest they replace the broken links with your active link
For example, if a website links to a _8 SEO Strategies for 2012 _post that’s no longer active, I can ask them to replace it with my shiny new 8 SEO Strategies to Win in 2018 post. I get a new backlink and they get a recent link that helps with their SEO. It’s a win-win.
Co-citation is like link building without link building. It sounds weird, I know. Here’s a picture from Search Engine Journal that helps explain: According to Kissmetrics, “Co-citation is when one website or brand is mentioned (not linked) by two different sources.” Or you can think of it like families who talk about other families in a neighborhood. Google is paying attention to family A’s conversation about family’s B and C even though B and C don’t know each other. These mentions are used as a ranking factor, even though there’s no direct link. The takeaway here is easy to say but difficult to do – create cite-worthy content others in your industry talk about.
5. SEO Audits
6. The Skyscraper Method
The Skyscraper Method is finding the biggest content skyscraper that exists, and building a skyscraper that’s bigger, better, and irresistible to link to. Here’s an example. Imagine you see a post on The 20 Most Important Google Ranking Factors. The Skyscraper Method is creating Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List, just like Brian Dean from Backlinko did… Follow these steps to try The Skyscraper Method for yourself:
- Find content being linked to by sites with a ton of domain authority. You can use Site Explorer to do this.
- Make content that’s better, longer, or more thorough.
- Reach out to the same bloggers that linked to the original articles you researched, and share your newly created content.
- Rake in the traffic and place yourself as the leader in the industry.
Living in an age of sharing, acquiring backlinks is not only hard, but it’s like doing SEO blindfolded. You have the power to win backlinks with The Skyscraper Method.
7. Link to other leaders in the game
Link to popular content creators in your industry, and then message them to let them know without asking for anything in return. I suggest making this 10-20% of your monthly efforts. Think of it as an SEO tax. Not only does this help you build your community, it’ll put you on the radar of other content creators who may link to you in the future.
No SEO strategy matters without research. If you are implementing more than you are researching, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and make sure you’re heading in the right direction. The digital market is growing minute by minute and it is a beast you cannot tame. Learn as much as you can, as frequently as you can. The businesses that fall behind are the ones that don’t adapt. It is time for you to adapt or die, which one are you going to choose?