What is off-page SEO?
Let us begin with algorithm history and what is important. Back in the 1990s, I used a search engine called WebCrawler. What you saw a lot of the time were people who would put a search phrase on their page a thousand times to rank for, meaning you would see a lot of blank texts at the bottom. So if you wanted to rank for used car insurance or whatever, then you would simply put that in blank texts at the bottom of your page. If you had it more than other people, you ranked better.
Google came along, and they looked at more than just what was going on on your site. They looked at what people are linking to you, and exactly how they are linking to you. This made a huge difference. There is a big difference in the quality of the search results. They added a lot of value to society. It is so much easier and better when you include links in your analysis of how well to rank a site. Google was the first company to do this, or at least do it well. As a result, this is the whole reason, in my opinion, why they are the number one search engine. They did this first, and they did it way better than everyone else. And they continue to do it better than everyone else. I think the other search engines are not quite as far behind as they used to be, but I still think that Google is ahead of the pack on these factors.
The core algorithm is still similar to fifteen years ago. This is not what you would expect, but they still take into account links and the amount and kind of juice and authority. They have stated that they have tested search engines privately without links, and it just does not work nearly as well.
There were a couple of original major factors they looked at. There was something called PageRank, named after Larry Page. This is not very valid today, as the way they calculate this is too easy to gain. People figured it out over the years. They look at different factors now. I am not sure they even look at it at all. They certainly do not update it often. All of the best people I know do not use it as part of their analysis at all. There are better metrics out there that better explain what is going on than PageRank.
They also looked at anchor text distribution. Essentially, if there was a link on a website that you had to click to, they placed anchor text so when you run the mouse over it changes. This link has a huge effect on what it ranks for, specifically the anchor text. This was a major part of their algorithm. People have slowly figured out how to gain this. So Google has had to respond by finding unnatural anchor text distributions. That is what Panda and Penguin are about. They have done a good job, which is why your anchor text distribution today is just as important. It just has to be different than what you would normally be able to rank—you would use to rank two, three, or four years ago. But again, the core algorithm is still the same. Social media did not exist when they started so there are a lot of different additional ways that they looked at things, but again the core algorithm is not too different.
Panda came first. I believe it was 2011 when it kicked in. It enabled them to be able to analyze things on a whole other level. They essentially got much more efficient at looking at algorithmic penalties. So there are a lot of different ways in which Panda can hit you. It is not just about low-quality links or low-quality content. There is site speed if your site speed is low. There are just a whole bunch of factors that comes into play. Then you combine that with Penguin. This was the one that got good at catching unnatural anchor text distribution. It does not do quite as much as Panda, but it does a lot. To come back from that, you need a disavow process. If your site has been penalized, I am very good at getting things un-penalized as best as possible. So feel free to contact me. We can talk more about these penalties.
Domain authority is a much better metric than PageRank. How much authority in Google’s eyes does your domain have? There are some awesome things you get when you have a high domain authority. This is not a Google metric. There is another company called Moz. They calculate this metric. It is not perfect. It gets a lot of things. They miss a lot of things as well. So you have to take it with a grain of salt. It is also interconnected with something called trust flow. The higher the domain authority and trust flow, the more they trust you, and the easier it is to rank for search phrases. As you build this, almost all of your tracked search phrases go up. It is not guaranteed, but at least nine out of ten, and in some cases one hundred percent have gone up once the domain authority and trust flow was significantly built. This is part of the reason Amazon, YouTube, and Wikipedia have a domain authority of a hundred, which is massive—essentially infinity compared to most sites—how much more powerful is YouTube than some random dentist’s site? It is astronomical, right?
What does a good SEO plan include? Firstly, and most important, you have to do your research thoroughly. So few people do this, and so few people dig out all the different ways in which your market could find you online, specifically in the search engines, or all the different ways in which they can interact with the search engines and put searches in. Then if you do not build your site right, there is not much point in doing off-page SEO because off-page SEO is a lot more expensive and time-consuming. On-page is a lot simpler, but you still need to do it right. Again, part of the reason is they do not do the research thoroughly. They do not know the plan on how to target all those different searches. So even if they did do the research, they would not know how to build it properly. It is a lot simpler. If you do this right, you need one tenth of the amount of off-page SEO to get ten times the results on your off-page SEO. So doing that right is definitely what you want to do.
The number one goal of off-page SEO is to build domain authority and trust flow. There are other things you can do that are more specific and maybe more powerful examples. There are additional pieces of the puzzle that you can put together, but the ultimate goal is to have everything aligned with building your domain authority and trust flow so you can go on a happy path of the algorithm as I call it. Essentially, the algorithm is not a pie chart. It is not 17% this, 13% this, whatever percent and all this other jazz. It is more like thousands of little steps and forks on the road. When your domain authority and trust flow are high, they take you on a happy path. It is a lot harder to be penalized. Negative SEO is much less likely to hurt you. They are just much less likely to apply any penalties. Not only that but again, all your rankings will go up.
Part of what we do is take quality content and distribute it out there. If you go around my site, you can see I heavily rely on videos. Each video is extremely powerful. Put it up on YouTube. YouTube has a domain authority of a hundred. You can link videos to your digital assets, but more importantly --or just as importantly-- they are highly engaging. People watch them for a long time, which Google recognizes. The longer someone is on your site, the more they reward you. Not only that, the more likely they are to convert into an actual customer. Creating good content is important. It is not the only thing, but it is something you want to try. You do not want to spend all of your time and energy on content marketing, but that is something that helps a lot with off-page SEO when done correctly. You are going to take your content. You are not just going to use it on your site, but try to distribute it and get other people to use it as well, which brings people back to your site. It also helps build your domain authority and trust flow when done correctly.
Another thing we are going to do is try to build a big site. Part of domain authority is the size of your site. How many pages on your site are structured properly? Things like that can go a long way towards building your domain authority. That is one of the factors. It is kind of off-page and on-page at the same time. If you talk to me about a plan, that is something I would talk about.
If you are interested in doing some off-page SEO or getting a really good plan for the on-page plus the off-page, feel free to contact me.