Big Brands Violate Traditional SEO Practices and Still Get Organic Placement

Google’s Panda and Penguin updates have turned the web upside down leaving SEO experts struggling to understand the what it takes to now earn top organic placement. In this recent article from Website Magazine (a publication that I really like), some tips are revealed that may help you to update your SEO strategy.

First, it appears that big brands are breaking all the rules and getting or retaining organic placement. There are some important take-aways we can glean from the research done for this article.

1. Size and authority of your website are key for organic placement. A 5 page website will never be able to garner organic placement when competing with larger well placed website. Blogging remains the very best way to quickly build authoritative content for small to medium sized businesses who want to compete with big brands.

2. Facebook shares will impact your organic placement. Twitter activity is down the list to number six for impact, but Facebook social signals remain a key indicator of success in placement on Google. That means not just posting on Facebook but having people share your posts that contain links.

3. The content in the <h1> tag and the volume of content on a page for big brands do not appear to impact organic placement.

“Surprisingly, the data show a negative correlation between these factors and rankings – contradicting traditional SEO theory,” explains Marcus Tober, Searchmetrics’ CTO. “So, not having keywords in headlines or having less text on a page seems to be associated with sites that rank higher.”

That’s interesting news pointing out that authority of a site actually counteracts the keyword density and using keywords in the <h1> tags for big brand sites. However, that does not mean that smaller brands cannot and should not optimize their page code, but do it smarter and in a natural readable format.

4. Too much advertising on a page even for big brands appears to impact organic placement. This is a direct impact from Google’s Panda and Penguin updates. It doesn’t mean you cannot have ads on your page, but need to not have your page all about ads.

In a nutshell, here are the factors Website Magazine says are important. Make sure to read the full article as it is really pretty helpful.

  1. Facebook shares
  2. Number of backlinks
  3. Facebook total
  4. Facebook comments
  5. Facebook likes
  6. Tweets
  7. Percent of no-follow backlinks – interesting this is a factor too!
  8. Keywords in domain name.
  9. Percent of backlinks with keywords – you’ll take a hit for too many with SEO anchor text