Heya! It’s Day 20 of Reboot Your Blog - the home stretch!
What matters right now in SEO? Where is the trendline going?
Towards links? Is content king? On page factors?
No. It’s none of those things – and yet also all of those things, all wrapped up into one.
I did a video about it in February 2011 – well over a year’s notice!
And I kept talking, writing, and warning you.
The good news (for you) is, (eek!) not everyone reads my blog (although I certainly don’t mind if you send your friends a tweet letting them know about the glory that is the Reboot Your Blog).
And since not everyone (yet) reads my blog, there’s quite a few folks who are blindly building links, optimizing on-page, and not giving a damn about what REALLY MATTERS because THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW about the most important SEO factor in the coming years.
But you’re here, so I know you’re a smartie pants.
Let’s dive in.
DAY 20 OBJECTIVE
Set up your site to encourage social sharing – and get credit for it in the eyes of Google.
DAY 20 ASSIGNMENT
First, a little backstory and perspective. Read this post, watch the video.
The vid, as you know, was done in February 2011. That post, and the timeline in it, was August 2011.
What’s Google done since then?
Social is everything. Why? Because with social, the engine can’t be gamed as easily as it can with links. With social, links still matter – links are still an indicator that something is worth sharing and might be worthwhile in coming up in the SERPs.
But Google’ isn’t just looking at how many links a site has, or even the reputation (i.e. page rank) of the place a site is getting links from.
Google is looking at the reputation of who is sharing links to your site. Spambot fake Twitter account playing the follow-me-follow-you game? Not gonna get you anywhere in the new Google’s eyes.
Your reputation is everything, and not just in terms of market leadership and how your individual blog audience sees you. Now your reputation – what Google knows about you and what you’re an expert in – matters in terms of the SERPs too.
Google+ Author Rank
Having a Google+ account is imperative, as it’s one of the ways that Google is signaled to the topics you are an expert in and the people that are influenced by you.
So start there – by signing up for a Google+ account. Here’s mine.
(It’s irrelevant what you think about Google+ as a social network, if it’ll “beat” Facebook, etc. This is simply an SEO measure).
Next, go through the process of linking your blog together with your Google+ profile. This will get you a lovely little thumbnail in the SERPs, like this:
The easiest way to implement this is by following instruction set #2 on this Google Webmaster Tools help file. It’s what I’ve done here.
If you’d prefer not to link to Google+ on every page of your site and are comfortable futzing with HTML and custom menu’s in WordPress, you’ll find Yoast’s tutorial helpful for implementing the rel=me markup for Google+.
Google can recommend your content with your picture, plus link to your Google+ profile to your Google+ followers and the internet as a whole.
Encouraging Social Sharing
And it’s not just about you as a content author. Google knows that new, great products, memes and authors are discovered online every day. And Google wants to discover you – they just need the signals.
Social sharing is a massive signal to Google that a piece of content you’ve created is worth spreading outside your immediate circle and worth of being shared in the SERPs. That is, if something is spread widely on social sites like Twitter, Facebook Fan Pages and Google+, Google knows it’s of interest to folks and perhaps should be listed higher in the search engines for it’s keyword.
And, since Google is tracking “author rank” via our social profiles, especially our Google+ profiles, Google is only looking for legitimate social shares – fake accounts don’t count.
So we need our content to do well, to be shared and spread for it to gain the greatest traction in our search engine optimization efforts.
I hate to tell you, because I know some of you hate to hear it, but the first rule of social sharing is to have quality stuff that people want to share.
If your content isn’t being shared by all the people that visit your site, if it’s not resonating with them, the problem isn’t with them… It’s with your content.
I’m going to let that sink in.
During Reboot Your Blog, you’ve really dug into making a good site great. You’ve assessed your content with an extremely critical eye – and this moment is one more time to honestly look at what you’re doing – what you’ve created – and ask if it passes the “Mom” test. Would you be proud to shot it to your mom? Would you want your mom taking the advice you publish on your web pages?
If not, go back and do Day 13 again. Make this something you’re extremely proud of.
Assuming your content is nurtured and cared for…
Install some social buttons to encourage those readers who visit your site to actually share that amazing content you’ve produced.
Fads change extremely quickly as to the style and “look” that is popular for these kinds of buttons at any given moment. Right now the side slider is super popular – I’m using that here. I also include a row below the post so folks can share after they’ve read the article.
To get to the finish line today, you will:
- Get a Google+ account
- Implemented Google+ authorship markup on your site
- Installed social sharing buttons on your site