While the majority of Techweek was focused around startups, the Cloud, mobile, and other technology, there was a talk given by Brent Payne from Loud Interactive that we just had to check out. Search Engine Optimization has become so integral to business and journalism on the web that a talk about how to optimize for it was something we're glad we didn't miss!
"Content SEO: Optimizing Inbound Data Feeds" - Brent Payne
What is at stake with SEO? Traffic, and lots of it. With each position you gain, traffic will double, and you want to be at the top to get the most traffic, which is why Search Engine Optimization is important.
Contrary to what Google says, Good Content doesn't guarantee better SEO. You want to attract domains to share your content. From there, you'll create a list of competitors to target their link structure, then follow up with a list of keywords that are popular via social media and inbound link structure of those competitors. That means doing keyword research with Google Keyword Planner.
Part two is to have the companies that are linking to your competitors cite you also / instead, which means that you will basically "Steal" those links. You can either Google key phrases relevant to your content or you can use MOZ Toolbar to find keywords and links to find places to reach out to after you create the content. Omit the top 20 listings, because they're your competitors—focus on 21+ when it comes to getting links. Why? Because Google thinks they're important enough, and getting links will help your SEO.
The key is consolidation; you don't want 18 articles about the same thing. If you have that, utilize 301 redirects to link to the best pieces. This will increase your SEO in a big way. Highly recommended if you want to succeed—stay away from duplication.
If you create a lot of similar content to your competitors, you have to find a way to make that content unique; the more unique content that you provide, the higher Google will rank you. You can't just post any content, you have to post high-quality content that can't be found elsewhere.
"How has SEO Changed now that mobile is huge?"
Voice Search is taking over mobile search queries, making search terms much longer. Before, people had figured out the way to search—quick and short keywords. Because mobile has longer queries, it's key to have a fast and highly optimized site in order to be ranked higher. On top of that, mobile is very geography-based, meaning that the searches will change as you travel. Mobile is now 50% of searches!
Whats the incentive for Google to keep prioritizing SEO?
Without people using them to work on SEO, there's no money in AdWords and other Google Services.
Other Answers (No direct Questions)
Google changing how it is handling information as well, with starting to aggregate news. Because of that, many things like the weather and basic facts are being shown in-search, taking traffic away from sites.
Make the article relevant - "Hudson River Plane Crash" vs. "Two Wings and a Prayer." The first is guaranteed better SEO. It may be bland, but it will rank higher.
SEO is a big part of today's journalism, so we snagged Brent after his talk to ask him a few questions about it! Check out the interview below.