Comment on WordPress SEO Tutorial by SEO Dave.

WordPress SEO Which Matt Cutts talk was you listening to?

I have to admit I don’t like using social media for promotion, to date it’s been severely disappointing, I’ve got thousands of Twitter followers and auto Tweet many sites, have around 2,500 Google+ followers and use Facebook for local stuff. If I lost the above tomorrow I wouldn’t notice.

The future question is how important SEO wise are Google going to consider a Facebook Like, a Tweet etc… and currently I think it’s tiny, almost irrelevant compared to other SEO factors. Social Media is clearly the present, who doesn’t use Facebook now for communicating and discussing things, which means for Google search to remain current it needs to take this into account and I can see in the next few years being more important for Google rankings.

The links Facebook etc… send to sites are rel=”nofollow” so have no direct SEO benefit, reading between the lines I think all Matt Cutts has been saying is obvious, if you promote your content on social media sites like Facebook and Google+ more people are going to find and link to your content. Do Google really need to take Facebook likes etc… into account when it’s so easy to game, if the interest is real it will generate more links to the content as it’s also discussed on blogs etc… Imagine you created something that went viral on Facebook, it’s going to generate loads of links from blogs etc… With social media usage growing if you want people talking and linking to your content you have to have a social media presence.

Good luck using social media for promoting boring products no one ever talks about or links to though, AKA most ecommerce content :-)

Regarding over SEOing content, in my experience this is an SEO myth as long as we aren’t talking SEO SPAM. You’ve been reading my content for years and probably noticed I write with SEO in mind, I write descriptively. For example rather than writing “It’s a very nice product”, I’ll tend to write “The widget is a very nice product” (where widget is a relevant keyword or SERP). It’s not a natural way to write content, but it adds relevant keyword rich content and it works.

This is not SEO SPAM, it’s good SEO copy and can make a significant difference to the amount of SERPs covered in an article etc… without resorting to adding keyword lists etc… (which is SEO SPAMMY).

As you can appreciate a theme can’t change content in the above way, so most user generated content on a website isn’t close to well SEO’d or over SEO’d. Basically a theme or plugin doesn’t touch the main user generated content.

What a theme/plugin combination can do is reuse the content the user has generated and Stallion does this well. From an SEO perspective it’s SEO 101, you never use “Click Here” or “Home” for a links anchor text for example.

Stallion 6.2 uses the title of posts for the anchor text of links, used within headings etc… and this tells Google what a page is about SEO wise (anchor text in particular is important). The title element (title tag), all internal anchor text linking in, headings related to comments, headings related to the related posts plugins etc… all use the title of posts for the content. As long as users add their main SERP to the title of posts, Stallion covers the optimization for that keyword phrase well.

This currently works very well, taking into account I also write with SEO in mind (as described above) if there was currently an automated over optimized Google penalty my sites would be hit badly, and the ones with unique content are doing well: some of my test sites where I’m using thin affiliate content etc… are doing rubbish, but that’s to be expected, Google hates thin content.

If Google changes it’s algorithm to look for all internal links using the same anchor text, the same text used in headings etc… and deems these sites over SEO’d my sites are going to be the first to be hit badly. I don’t think this will happen, most new sites are generated using content management systems (CMSs) like WordPress and they all reuse content as I’ve described above, Stallion does it better than everything else. If Google moves this way how is it going to determine what’s actual over SEO and what’s the result of a CMS output? Should sites be penalised for over using “Click Here” too much :-)

I don’t think Google can move that way, but I’ve had this concern in the back of my mind for years and in Stallion 7.0 it will no longer be an issue for those who go to the trouble of using the Stallion All In One SEO built in plugin and add related keyword phrases. The phrases are used for anchor text, headings etc… which means the exact same text (the title tag) won’t be used over and over again.

I don’t see Google moving this way, but if they do Stallion 7.0 has it covered.

The above is all about onpage/onsite SEO, Stallion/WordPress has no control over what happens off site. Where it’s difficult to develop a CMS to use different content for links etc… (what Stallion 7.0 outputs) it’s completely natural to have incoming links with varied anchor text. If you do a lot of backlink building and always use the same anchor text for the links it’s going to look unnatural and programmatically this isn’t hard for Google to find and DOWNGRADE.

Since off page SEO is where the majority of Google rankings are generated this is where I believe Google puts it’s main efforts. I ran an SEO test a few years back where I added thousands of backlinks to the home page of a site using the same anchor text, it was penalized within 3 months and never recovered. Before understanding SEO well (a decade ago) I used blatant (in bulk) comment, guestbook and forum link SPAMMING and it worked really well, PR7 home page, hard top 10 SERPs (ranked well for the “Lingerie” SERPs for example), but Google penalized the entire domain after about a year, never recovered.