If you are here and reading this article then you probably understand what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is. But do you know what Off Page and On Page SEO are? In this article I will explain Off-Page SEO.
Let’s start from the very beginning and just briefly explain SEO. SEO is a technique of optimizing some website for different search engines. With SEO you are able to increase the popularity of your website, ranking of your site and therefore increase number of visitors. Just like you could guess, two main components of search engine optimizations are On Page and Off Page optimizations.
Off Page optimization is the kind of optimization where you have to do work outside of your website. The most important parts of Off Page SEO are:
- Link Building
- Social Media
- Social Bookmarking
There are really a lots of benefits of Off Page SEO but the most important benefit is increase of your PageRank. Better PageRank leads to higher ranking on search engines results and that will lead to increased traffic to your website.
What is PageRank?
So, it all actually starts with PageRank. What exactly is that? How to find out your PageRank? And what that number actually means? PageRank is a simple number from 0 to 10 that shows you how important your website is to Google. To check your PageRank simply go to some PageRank checker and you will get your result immediately. Now that you got the number, how good you are?
- PageRank 0 – your site is not yet listed or you have been deleted from search engine.
- PageRank 1 – you made it on to search engine but the overall optimization is very poor.
- PageRank 2 – still not good enough.
- PageRank 3 – this is where the most sites are. Average rank.
- PageRank 4 – you are starting to catch up with everything and increasing the quality of your site.
- PageRank 5 and 6 – these are really great. If you got one of these two PageRank numbers you should still aim to improve but your site will probably be very god with this too.
- PageRank 7 and above – sites with these numbers are pretty rare and you have to be really big and really good to get one of these.
So, now you know what you get from quality Off Page SEO? Great, let’s continue.
Just like I mentioned at the beginning, link building is one of the most important parts of Off Page optimization.
Link building can be defined as a process of getting links from other website to your website. Search engines crawl the web with the help of links. Engines craw links between all the pages on your site and links on other websites. It takes a lot of learning and experience to success in link building. People who know how to build high quality links will have better success with search engine optimization than other people. To understand how important link can be you have to know what does link mean, its anatomy. Hyperlink is made out of:
- Anchor tag. Anchor tag is the opening of a link and because of that “a” tag search engines know that that is a link to some website, page or something like that.
- After the “a” tag you can see “href”. That is a short version of “hyperlink referral” and after that “href” there is URL of a place where that link is leading. That can be some address of website, some page or link to image or some media file.
- Anchor text. The third part of hyperlink is called anchor text or anchor link. That is some text that will be visible. People won’t see that anchor tag or URL but they will see this text and it has to stand out amongst other text (blue color, underlining and similar things).
- To complete a link you have to close that opening anchor tag.
Search engines use links for two reasons:
- Discovering new pages
- Determining page rank
This two reasons are pretty obvious because without other pages linking to yours it will be pretty hard for search engines to discover your site and create some rank for it on its own search engine. And for the second reason, it is well known fact that if you create good number of links on high quality websites then your website will have a better rank on search engines.
That’s the short description of first out of three important parts of Off Page SEO. Moving on to next one – social media.
The first part of good Off Page SEO was the process of link building but with the fast growth of social media and lots of people using links in bad ways lead to lower value of links and increasing value of social media. Social signals are becoming much more important factor for ranking pages. I will divided social media in two parts, social reputation and social shares.
Social reputation means exactly what the name says, building a reputation for yourself. Let’s compare this with link building. You can create 100 fake links just like you can create 100 different social accounts and try to build something for your site but link from one high quality website or reference from one high quality social media account is worth more than your 100 links and accounts. So, try to get references from established accounts and don’t use fake accounts and don’t try to cheat your way to glory in social media.
The other thing are social shares. If more people see and check your website or your brand it is good for you. If you don’t have Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram or any other social media account you are most probably missing on many opportunities to grow your business. Be present and be active.
The third part of Off Page SEO is called social bookmarking.
Don’t confuse social media with social bookmarking, it is a different thing. Social bookmarking can be defined as a process of remembering (bookmarking) best websites online so you can read them any other time when connected to internet. Why is it interesting and widely used? Well, imagine that you finally found something you needed and searched for a long time and then computer crashes and you can’t find it again. That’s why you bookmark every site you will need later and save all that time spent with searching for that information. The thing you are probably wondering now is how that social bookmarking can help with SEO? When someone bookmarks a page at social bookmarking sites then that page servers as a great backing and search engines respect it a lot. And quality backlink will increase Page Rank of website and that site will get more traffic. Social bookmarking is very simple, everyone can use it and if you remind people to use it with your website it will give you great benefits.
Ranking factors: True, Probable, Likely or False?
Now you know what an Off Page SEO is. Maybe you knew all of this stuff before but if you search for ranking factors on internet you will get a lot of results. And that results can be very confusing because some pages will list one factor as very important and some pages can say that it’s totally useless. To help you with that, I made a list of all factors that “maybe” create a positive or negative impact on ranking. So, let’s start with positive ones.
- Authoritative inbound links to page and domain are a good factor. TRUE!
- Another important factor are relevant keywords, links from relevant sites, relevant ALT Text and relevant context around links. TRUE!
- Quality is another important factor. It is based on quality and stable links. TRUE!
- Partially related anchor and alt text, keyword link tittle and link from site in same results can possibly have a good impact. PROBABLE!
- DMOZ listing could be a good thing PROBABLE!
- Another thing that could influence authority is Google+ profile, but that depends on profile quality. LIKELY!
- Total number of branded searches along with clicks, user search history, QDS (Query Deserves Sources), QDO (Query Deserved Oldness), and QDD (Query Deserves Diversity) could influence quality. LIKELY!
- Click through rate on domain could give positive impact LIKELY!
- Social signals along with Twitter sharing, Facebook sharing or links from older domains could influence authority. Depends on how strong the domain or accounts are. LIKELY!
- Twitter followers, Facebook likes or Google +1’s won’t influence on site authority. FALSE!
- Keyword link tittle won’t have any influence. FALSE!
- Positive sentiment on comments will only bring you satisfaction but won’t have any positive impact on ranking. FALSE!
- Backlinks from sites with “.edu” or “.gov” domains won’t give you better authority, just like high MozRank won’t do that too. FALSE!
That are just some facts and myths about positive impacts of some factors. And here is some stuff about factors that “maybe” bring negative impact.
- Diluted page or domain authority will give negative impact to authority of site. TRUE!
- Paid link schemes and negative SEO will have negative impact. TRUE!
- Poor content around links should have negative impact, just like sitewide links. PROBABLE!
- Unnatural ratio of anchor type, header and sidebar links, fast gain of links and negative page link velocity could bring negative impact. LIKELY!
- No context around links and negative sentiment in comments could influence on bad relevance and quality. LIKELY!
- Comment and forum spam, widget links, click manipulation and WordPress sponsored themes could bring negative impact. LIKELY!
- Negative domain link velocity and radio of links out of context can bring negative impact. LIKELY!
- Inbound affiliate links or links from irrelevant sites won’t have negative influence. FALSE!
- Using professional link building services for building links or using microsites won’t have any negative influence (unless link building is done unprofessionally). FALSE!
And that’s the end. Now I recommend you to continue with learning and read about Google On Page ranking factors. Good luck!