12 Sep 2013

SEOs Should Focus On Patterns, Not Quality

green patternsDear SEOs, please talk less about quality and more about patterns. We have all heard it before: “The future of SEO is high quality content.” or “Its time to start building high quality links.”. Here’s a little secret that I have mentioned in the past: Search engine algorithms don’t care about quality. Search engines are more interested in patterns that are typically associated with web sites that large audiences love to visit. So whats the difference? The difference comes into play when SEOs ignore large negative patterns and instead push forward with high quality content or high quality link development. By ignoring these patterns, the SEO is wasting their time with new content or links because the negative patterns are holding them down.

Here are a few patterns to look out for, and the algorithms they are associated with:

  • Excessive patterns in URLs. (Panda)
  • Irrelevant terms in URLs. (Panda)
  • IA uses a singular topic for all content. (Panda)
  • Money Terms” as internal anchor text. (Panda/Maybe Penguin)
  • Excessive duplicated footer links on every page. (Panda)
  • Excessive secondary navigation in sidebars. (Panda)
  • High concentrations of exact match anchor text on inbound links. (Penguin)
  • Site wide links. (Penguin)
  • Links from multiple domains on the same C-class IP address. (Penguin)
  • Links found inside scraped content. (Penguin)
  • Links on domains with overt ties to SEO. (Penguin)
  • Links on domains with overt ties to link building. (Penguin)

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you can or should quit building high quality content, and links. But, the truth is you should be doing that anyways. Building high quality content and links shouldn’t be a corner stone to your SEO efforts, it should be a default marketing objective; something that should be done way before SEO enters the conversation. Unfortunately, I often times see the reverse, and as a result, all of the time effort and money that goes into building high quality content is wasted because it is surrounded by bad patterns.

What are some patterns that you have identified?