The two videos that I have linked in the articles below are of incredible importance for business owners. Google's Matt Cutts, their lead spam engineer, gives tremendous insight into the mind of Google when it comes to organic placement.
Both videos deal with previously effective strategies that SEO's have used to help bump websites up in placement. Cutts now states that Google is disavowing both.
These short videos will help you to understand the important and changing view that Google is taking on how sites will place in unpaid listings at Google.com. I consider both "must watch" videos.
Matt Cutts, the lead Spam Engineer at Google, revealed just this last month that Google is not using Facebook or Twitter posts or profiles for index ranking. This is very big news and a change in what Google has stated about how social impacts their algorithm.
Here's the bottom-line about using social media and Google rankings:
1. Google is not ranking your site based on the activity you have on social media profiles like Facebook and Twitter.
2. Google does look at links that are shared on these social sites just like they look at content pages when they can spider the content.
3. Google is concerned about using social profiles to create "identity" as this may change or be blocked over time.
4. Google is not recording, for their algorithm, the number of likes or followers a social profile has.
5. Matt Cutts states that he personally likes social profiles for sharing and driving traffic, but does not recommend using them as an avenue to impact Google search placement.
This is an interesting change for Google as previously Google has stated that it did include likes and follower numbers as part of social signals and that these social signals impacted organic placement.
My recommendation is to continue to use Twitter and Facebook if it makes sense to do so. Some businesses have a rich community on Facebook and should not abandon their followers just because they now don't get SEO juice from activity there. But for SEO's to encourage social media interaction now solely for organic placement appears to be just one more SEO tactic that Google is clearly disavowing as a way to get organic placement.
Creating articles that were informational in nature with links back to your website in a bio and placing these on news sites, article directories, and ezine sites for use by other webmasters on their blogs and in their websites in a way to build incoming links is just another previously good tactic that Google has disavowed.
Unfortunately, there are many business owners who are still using this tactic and are encouraged to embrace this tactic by SEO firms mainly based in India. It is very important to know that using this type of tactic today may actually work against you.
Make sure to watch this video on this topic from Matt Cutts the lead web spam engineer from Google and the voice to my industry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bo75Og4M34Q
It is important to understand that this approach was highly useful and beneficial to websites one and definitely two years ago. But now using this tactic may actually drop your organic placement.
Guest blogging is also another high profile tactic that has also fallen under Google's eyes and has also been (in most cases) disavowed as a usable tactic to improve organic search placement. Guest blogging on high profile industry sites or those like Huffington Post still have validity.
With Google focusing on high quality unique content, that is not overly keyword dense, and has high user relevancy as tested through click through rate, time on page, and personal search history it is nearly impossible to scam your way to the top of the organic results. A much better approach for placement today is to focus on improving the user experience on your website, refining the message, and promoting your site to generate traffic on social media and Google AdWords.
There will always be sites that are placed in the top ten slots on Google but getting there now is no longer an art form but rather creating the very best user experience that is the most relevant to a unique search query.