Aaron Wall: Reality Check on Linkbait and SEO-PR

In “SEO: Fading into PR/Marketing“, I wrote on how SEO – through the use of linkbaiting, WoM and blog marketing – is ever more sounding like PR, concluding that “Welcome to the New SEO. And SEO that’s changing from an actual search engine marketing service to general philosophy when doing PR/marketing on the web.”

But alas, the “New SEO” wont last forever, and this is where Aaron Wall steps in to remind us all, from “Finding the Most Powerful Links“:

Given that many large brands and mainstream media sites are trying to leverage their brand strength by adding interactive content to their sites and every SEO blog in the world (and some from distant universes) have posts about leveraging social media and buidling trust with link baiting, it is probably a pretty safe bet to think that Google is going to be forced away from trusting core domain related trust…and it is going to have to get even better at filtering link quality as well.

Indeed, Google, Yahoo and MSN must find ways to tighten and be more selective on how links are weighted. Eventually, they will find ways to filter the obvious “Social Media” spam from the real deal, or find other signals for weighing websites and webpages. In short, Leveraging Social Media for SEO won’t stay as the Magic Bullet for long.

However, there are a few variables that should be noted:

  • Ideally, Leveraging of Social Media (Linkbaiting, PR, WoM) should generate links and traffic because there’s something cool about a brand, product/service or company. Not a short-term gimmick. Not
  • Yet, this will get harder and harder to do as every company wants its own viral video, blog, widget – you name it. So does Google, Yahoo and MSN need such filtering or will linkbaiting equal itself out as every major websites begins to adopt it?
  • And even if there filters, links of some must remain as a source of some authority for ranking algorithms due to lack of any clear alternatives. There can be filters, some de-emphasis but there are no viability zero-sum replacements.
  • And finally, linkbaiting will still be in effective in general as it will still play a large role in effective full-scale SEO, while also generating traffic and awareness from its PR Value.

All in all, I believe that while specific tactics change, the general rules of SEO will be steadfast:

  • Ensure Accessibility by Search Engines (be it mobile, local, or general search engines and who knows what else)
  • Optimize Content through making sure your website has content people want and search for
  • Establish Authoritativeness by ensuring the appropriate websites link to you in the appropriate way

Your Thoughts?


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