Dharmesh: Answer: Probably not. A general rule of thumb: If the link is not earned, and anybody can get into the directory, it’s not a high quality link and the search engines will likely discount it’s value. Time is better spent elsewhere.
Dharmesh: You want to try and get as close to the actual business value as you possibly can. The more levels removed you are from measuring value to the business, the more suspect the metric is. So, the best metric, if you can get there, is to determine how many leads or customers are being generated from organic search traffic. Rankings are less meaningful than getting clicks. Clicks are less meaningful than getting leads and customers.
Dharmesh: It’s when the domain name matches the exact key phrase being searched for. For example, for the search phrase “inbound marketing”, the exact match domain would be inboundmarketing.com. Or, for the search term “CRM software”, it would be CRMsoftware.com. One recent change in the Google algorithm is that they reduced the value given to exact match domains. So, it is harder for a given website to rank based largely on the fact that it happens to be an exact domain match. Of course, if the site is independently authoritative, and just happens to also be an exact match domain, it will continue to rank.
Dharmesh: I’ll give you my simple-minded answer, and then let Rand give you the real answer. My position is: For a large majority of businesses, you shouldn’t have to worry about specific algorithm changes like Penguin or Panda or whatever. Most of these changes are implemented to address specific problems with search quality. If you’re a normal business, creating content that’s useful and not really dancing the line, you probably don’t need to religiously track these changes.Rand: ???
Dharmesh: Don’t do it! Google’s Penguin updates are geared towards addressing websites that are in violation of Google’s quality guidelines. These include things like using keyword stuffing, link-building schemes, content cloaking, etc. The best strategy is not to try and trick the Google algorithm to get your content to rank. The best strategy is to create content that deserves to rank. In terms of the technical errors, your best bet is likely to start with Google’s Webmaster Tools and see what kinds of errors you’re seeing and resolve those.
Dharmesh: At it’s simplest level, you want to see how much economic value you are generating from your SEO efforts on a site – and how much time/money is being spent producing those results. To do this well, you need to be analyzing your traffic and excluding the branded searches. For the rest, figure out how much traffic is coming in and what business value is being generated from that traffic. For example, if you have 1,000 visits coming in from non-branded search traffic, and 10% of them convert into leads that are worth $100, that’s $10,000 worth of leads. One thing to be mindful of when calculating ROI is that a successful SEO campaign causes traffic for certain keywords for an extended duration of time. So, even if you spend $5,000 creating content and optimizing it, if that results in rankings that drive $1,000/month of leads, you’ll have earned your money back in 5 months – and after that, it’s profit.
BEFORE WEBINAR STARTS
Q&A with Rand Fishkin and Dharmesh Shah
Missed our last webinar? View ithere:http://bit.ly/StateOfSEO2012 1
Live Q&A withRand Fishkin &Dharmesh Shah#SEOChat 2
Your Presenters: Rand Fishkin Dharmesh Shah CEO, SEOMoz CTO, HubSpot @randfish @dharmesh 3
Recording of this session will behere: http://bit.ly/QandA2012 4
?Is it still worth mytime to do freedirectory submissionsfor my clients?#SEOChat 5
?What are the top 3things that you seemost companiesdoing incorrectly whenit comes to SEO?#SEOChat 6
?What is the bestmeasure to use todetermine thesuccess/failure of aSEO campaign?#SEOChat 7
?How many people doyou have producingall the incrediblecontent you offer?#SEOChat 8