When I entered this line of work I found the hardest part of learning how to build links was figuring out which strategies were sound, and which were a waste of time.
Time could be wasted for a plethora of reasons.
1) The tactic you are using was completely valid two years ago, but now due to changes in algo and environment they are no longer worth your time
2) They are so despised by fellow webmasters that they may not be worth your time
And the list goes on.
It is the chicken before the egg of the online industry.
Which comes first usability or SEO?
Designers and developers often take one stance on the issue, and SEOs another. I am not sure there is a right or wrong answer. Despite how many in our industry present information the only way we can quantify any degree of success in what we do is by measuring how profitable a web property is (I know not all websites operate for revenue, but who cares about them?).
Profitable sites have been built without sound search engine optimization.
Profitable sites have been built with poor usability.
Neither of these points can be argued.
But in a fantasy land of project perfection, sound SEO can lead to high quality usability. Here the two concepts can dance in a green meadow beneath a candy rainbow; also known as Canada (SES Toronto trip showed me how majestic it is North of border)
I am a slave to writing about things that I see and do in my everyday SEO efforts or searching.
To me theory often fails to show value in terms of dollars. And I am in this business to make dollars.
I have been doing a lot of eCommerce searching lately since my birthday is coming up next weekend, and I need to figure out what I want. What I have found are a ton of search results that are too specific. They go beyond the generic term I am looking for, and send me to pages with very specific products that are not what I am looking for. This fact can mean death for an eCommerce site, which should be leading generic terms to non-product, more category oriented terms.
Let’s use the example of a website that sells televisions.
Optimizing a site for search often revolves around your ability to gain links from high quality sources.
Protecting your brand on the web is often connected to your ability to quickly and transparently address issues that may soil your reputation.
Both of these important Internet marketing tactics, need to be cultivated through a healthy foundation of market contacts.
I discussed one way I address this during my in-house, enterprise work in my Site Rejuvenation post. A few comments were made about the time consuming nature of this concept. It is time consuming, but the point of the plan is to gain the high quality links in rich text that can make or break an SEO campaign. Market networking and Site Rejuvenation don’t take any more time than most spend purchasing links, and their effects have more upside.
I just returned from SES Toronto where I had the privelage to participate on a panel with Lee Odden and Chris Winfield on Twitter.
It was a great session and a great experience all around. I was able to speak with some of the top minds in search and social media, about what they are doing to make themselves and others money.