What is Off Page SEO? Brief Introduction
Off page SEO refers to techniques. You can use to improve the position of a website. This is especially in the search engine results page. Many people associate off-page SEO with link building.
In general, off Page SEO has to do with promotion methods. Beyond website design for the purpose of ranking a website higher in the search results.
Let’s see it in detail.
What is SEO ?
SEO is the term used to describe a set of processes. That aim in optimizing a website for search engines.
SEO is important not only for getting high quality visitors from search. But it is also a way to improve the user-friendliness of your website. Also, it will increase the credibility.
Search engines are using complex algorithms. This is to determine which pages to include in their index. This is in order they show these pages in the search results.
SEO is the way to ‘speak’ to search engines in a language. Which they can understand and give them with more information about your website.
SEO has two major components. They are as follows.
On Page SEO.
Off Page SEO.
On Page SEO:
On Page SEO refers to settings you can apply on your website. So that it can optimize for search engines. The most important On-Page SEO tips are as follows. They are,
- Having optimized titles and descriptions.
- Proper URL Structures.
- User friendly navigation.
- Optimized internal links.
- Text Formatting.
- Image optimization.
- User friendly 404 pages.
- Fast loading pages.
- Mobile Friendly pages.
- Top quality fresh content.
- External links.
Off Page SEO:
Unlike On- page SEO, Off-page SEO refers to activities. Which you can perform outside the boundaries of your website. The most important are as follows. They are,
- Link Building.
- Social Media Marketing.
- Social bookmarking.
We will examine these in more details below. But first let me explain about the importance and benefits of off-page SEO.
Why is Off-Page SEO important?
Search engines have been trying for decades. This is to find a way to return the best results to the searcher. To achieve this, they consider the on-site SEO factors. Some other quality factors and off-page SEO.
Off page SEO gives them a very good indication on how the World perceive the website. A website that is high quality and useful is more likely to have references from other websites.It is more likely to have mentions on social media. It is more likely to have a bookmarked and shared among communities of like-minded users.
What are the benefits of ‘off-site SEO’ to website owners ?
A successful off-site SEO strategy will generate the following. These benefits are especially to the website owners. They are,
- Increase in rankings.
- Increase in PageRank.
- More exposure.
- Let’s see in detail.
- Increase in rankings:
The website will rank higher in the SERPs. This will also mean more traffic.
Increase in PageRank:
Page rank is a number between 0 and 10. This is which indicates the importance of a website. Especially in the eyes of Google.It is the system invented by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. It is one of the reasons that Google was so successful. Especially in showing the most relevant results to the searcher.
Page rank today is only one out of the 250 factors. Google is using to rank websites.
Higher rankings also mean greater exposure. This is because when a website ranks in the top positions. It will get more links, more visits and more social media mentions. It is like a never-ending sequence of events. Where one thing leads to another and then to another etc.
Link building is the most popular and effective off-Page SEO method. Basically, by building external links to your website, you are trying to gather as many ‘votes’ as you can. So that, you can bypass your competitors and rank higher.
For example: if someone likes this article and references it from his/her website or blog. Then this is like telling search engines that this page has good information.
Over the year’s webmasters have been trying to build links. This is to their websites to get higher rankings. They ‘invented’ several ways to increase link count. The most popular ways are as follows. They are,
- Blog Directories.
- Forum Signatures.
- Comment link.
- Article Directories.
- Shared Content Directories
Let’s see this in detail.
Something like yellow pages. But each entry had a link pointing to a website.
Many people were commenting on forums for the sole purpose of getting a link back to their website.
The same concept as forum signatures where you would comment on some other website or blog. This is in order to get a link back. Even worse, instead of using your real name you could use keywords. So, instead of writing ‘comment by Alex Chris’, you wrote ‘comment by How to lose weight’.
By publishing your articles in article directories, you could get a link back to your website.
Some article directories accepted only unique content. While other directories accepted anything from spin articles to already published articles.
Shared Content Directories:
Websites like hub pages allowed you to publish content and in return. You could add a couple of links pointing to your websites.
If you try to ‘trick’ search engines building artificial links, then you are more likely to get a penalty. This is rather than an increase in rankings.
The birth of black hat SEO:
Link building was an easy way to manipulate the search engine algorithms. Many spammers tried to take advantage of this by building link. Networks which gradually lead to the creation of we know as black hat SEO.
Google has become very intelligent in recognizing black hat techniques. This is possible with the introduction of Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird. They have managed to solve the problem and protect their search engine results. This is from spammers. Of course, there are still exceptions. But they are doing advances in every new algorithmic release. Soon enough none of these tricks will work.
To “follow” or “nofollow”:
In addition to the above and in order to give webmasters a way. This is a way to link to a website. This will happen without passing any ‘link juice’. For this “nofollow” link is introduce by search engines.This is a special tag you can add to a link. This will tell search engines not to count the link. This is as a ‘vote of trust’ to the referenced website.
This is possible so that you can link to other websites from yours. It can achieve without taking the risk of caught for selling or exchanging links.
As a rule of thumb, you should add the nofollow tag on all your external links. That go to websites you cannot trust 100% to ALL your comment links. To ALL your blogroll links and to ALL banner ad links.
What is a good link?
So, if the above links are not useful, what is a good link?First, you should understand that link building. It is not only a matter of quantity. But it is a matter of quality as well.In other words, it no longer matters how many links are pointing to your website. But it is more important from where these links are coming.
For example: A link from a normal blog. It does not have the same ‘weight’ as a link from New York Times. A link from Matt Cutts blog is not the same as a link from my blog.
The obvious question is, how to you get these links?
If you ask Google. They will tell you. That any links pointing to your website must be natural links. Natural links are exactly what their name implies. A website owner or blogger likes another website or blog. Then they will naturally add a link to their blog.
Does this happen or is it another myth?
It certainly does but you have to try hard to get to this point. Take for example this blog, there are many incoming links. Because other webmasters find the content interesting. I also link to other sites in my articles. This is because I find their content interesting. Also, want to inform my readers about it.This is natural link building. A link has more value from the reader’s’ point of view. It is rather than the search engine’s point of view.The best way to attract links is to publish link worthy content that other people would like to link to.
If natural links are what I have just described above, in which category do all other links belong?
They belong in the category of artificial links. This is by adopting such techniques. This will increase the risk for getting penalty by Google. The penalty may base on a manual or algorithmic.
Is guest blogging a valid way to build links?
Guest posting can be a valid way to get links back to your website. It will provide that you don’t do it just for links and that you don’t overdo it. You can read these 2 articles to get a complete picture. When to accept guest posts on your blog and when to guest post on other blogs.
Social media is part of ‘off-site SEO’. If you think about it, it’s also a form of link building. It should note down that almost all the links you get from social media sites are “nofollow”. But this does not mean that they do not have any value.
Social Media mentions are gaining ground as ranking factors. Proper configuration of social media profiles can also boost SEO.
Social bookmarking is not as popular. It is used to be in the past. But it is still a good way to get traffic to your website. Depending on your niche you can find web sites like reddit.com, stumbleupon.com, scoop.it and delicious.com to promote your content.
Off-page SEO is as important as on-site SEO. If you want your SEO campaigns to be successful you must do both.
When thinking about link building don’t take the easy way. But try to get links from hard-to-get places. The more difficult is to get a link, the more value it has.
In the past, you could easily get thousands of links and rank higher. But in nowadays you must do more than that. My advice is to forget about link building all together. Put all your efforts in making a great website. Promote it correctly and everything else will follow.