How does the New SEO work?

“New SEO” is probably what you’re thinking: “just what we need, another meaningless marketing buzzword.”

It makes sense to me. The blackhat ninja you are knows everything about semantics in the bleeding edge of link-building. The domains on your website are ageing, you have never been to Florida, and you are immune to caffeine. Pandas won’t hurt you, penguins won’t hurt you. Your mind reassures you, “SEO is nothing new — it’s just keywords, rankings, anchor-text, and backlinks.”. Add a few XRumer blasts, mix in a few ScrapeBoxes, spin some blog posts, and fake Google +1s. I got it, mannnnnn! I’m so happy.

It is difficult to write about search engine optimization. In a state of flux constantly, it is a rapidly moving target, often misunderstood. The world of search engine optimization (SEO) has been overrun by white hats, black hats, grey hats, and blue hats, and if that isn’t enough confusion, 2013 saw Google staging a full-on offensive after which many declared that SEO is dead.

As I just spent the past week at PubCon with some of the smartest minds in search, I can assure you that SEO is doing just fine – just don’t expect Google to be as transparent as it should be.

In the wake of all of this, I began to wonder: what exactly is the new SEO and how can it be used now? If SEO as we know it is dead, what exactly is the new SEO?

Use Semantic Markup In Your Content

Content must provide value, garner attention, and cause people to think in the modern marketing environment to succeed. The Internet has evolved from a web of linked pages to a web of linked concepts, thanks to semantic web protocols, such as RDFa, JSON-LD, microdata, and microformats. Using semantic markup boosts your content’s understandability to search engines like Google.

Get started using semantic metadata by visiting, exploring schemas, and learning how to use them. Unstructured content can be wrapped in schemas that specify the semantics of the content they contain. Attributes are used to add semantic metadata directly to HTML.Schema can be used today to markup events, people, reviews, products, local businesses, and more.. Search engines will index this data and reward you with enhanced SERP listings, wider distribution, and possibly higher keyword rankings.

As new types of content are added, you’ll want to keep an eye on Try Raven Tools’ Schema Creator tool if you need help getting started. Semantic search has now become a reality with Google’s Hummingbird update, an update that affects 90% of all queries. Serendipitous search, persistent context, and computed query results will become increasingly evident in the coming months.

Beware that markup should only be used where your content truly relates to a particular content type. Over-optimization can be detrimental if you don’t know what it is.

Google+ Is Not A Social Network

You may have heard that it’s a ghost town; only photographers, web artists, eccentrics, and Robert Scoble hang out there. Occasionally, you may log on and discover that you have new followers. “How the hell did that happen?” you ask. And who are they?!?””””

Google+ is regarded by many as a social network similar to Facebook and Twitter. If you dig deeper, you’ll find that Google+ is the social spine underlying all of Google’s services. We are Google.

Ignoring Google Glass jokes, here’s why Google+ matters. Google+ publishers are being rewarded with social signals, traffic, and faster indexing by Google. The Google search engine will index a post shared on Google+ within 6 seconds. Does that qualify as real-time SEO?

There’s more to come. Despite Matt Cutts’ claim that Google +1s and Google+ shares don’t benefit SEO, we know better than to trust him. Google +1s and other social signals from Google are directly correlated with increased search engine traffic and ranking.

According to Google+, there are 540 Million active users worldwide; that’s a pretty active ghost-town if you ask me. It is imperative that Google+ be used as a social signaling, distribution, and traffic channel in the future, no matter what your personal opinion is of Google the company or Google+ the service. More detailed instructions can be found in the Google+ API.

People Are The New Links

Before people were able to openly identify themselves online, the only way to easily map relationships was through hyperlinks. All resources below the level of web pages were considered unstructured or semi-structured. With PageRank and the distribution of backlink anchor-text powering SERP rankings for every query, hyperlinks became the main signal for search engine relevance.

By requiring users to authenticate with an official University email address, Facebook was the first large-scale consumer web service to enforce true identity online. Several other social media products followed, including Twitter, OAuth, FullContact, and now Google+. Now, search engines can identify people along with concepts like recipes, businesses, and products. Google is using the concept of a person to link content published by authors to its index, resulting in an Author Rank ranking factor that many believe will soon surpass PageRank in importance.

Today, you have a few different options for taking advantage of this offer. The author creates a Google+ profile and uses the tag rel=”author” to link to it on every website they publish on. You can then link those domains to your Google+ authorship page on your “about” page.

Publishers get Google+ pages for their sites or businesses, link to them from their domains using the rel=”publisher” tag, and finally, like authors, add a link from their Google+ pages to their domains.

It would be a good idea to implement authorship across all the content on your website if you’re a publisher or business with multiple authors. This will allow individual authors to be associated with the content they produce. By doing so, you benefit from the additional Author Rank your writers bring to the table.

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