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What is Off Page Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?: Importance and Benefits to Bloggers

What is Off Page SEO

Offpage optimization refers to all the measures that can be taken outside of the actual website in order to improve its position in search rankings. These are measures that help create as many high-quality backlinks (incoming links) as possible  (Search Metrics Quotes).

To Further state…
Off page SEO could be referred to as those techniques and methods that one implements to help improve the position of a web site in the search engine results page (SERPs). Many people assume off-page SEO to be link building but it’s way more than that. Genrally, off Page SEO has to do with applying promotional methods – beyond website design –for the purpose of ranking a website higher in the search engine (Like Google) results Pages.

What is SEO?

Basically, SEO which is an acronym to Search Engine Optimization is the term used to describe a set of processes that aim in optimizing webpages for the purpose of ranking on search engines. SEO is highly essential not only for getting high quality visitors from search engines but also a way to improve the user-friendliness of your webpages and posts and increase the standard of arrangement of blog posts.

It is in this regard that Search engines use complex algorithms to determine which pages to include in their index and the order they show these pages in the search results.
SEO in a layman term is simply  a way to ‘communicate’ to search engines using the language they can understand to provide them with the necessary information to enable them rank your website on their SERPs.
SEO has two major categories; On Page and Off Page SEO.

On Page SEO

On Page SEO refers to the procedures you  follow and the settings you apply on your website so that search engines could notice and recognize your webpages for easy optimization.

The most important On-Page SEO tips are:

  • Having optimized titles and descriptions
  • Proper URL Structures (Permalinks)
  • User friendly navigation (breadcrumbs, user sitemaps)
  • Optimized internal links
  • Text Formatting (The use of H1, H2, Italic etc)
  • Image optimization (image size, proper image names, use of ALT tag)
  • User friendly 404 pages
  • Fast loading pages
  • Mobile Friendly pages
  • Top quality fresh content (This is always the most essential SEO factor!)
  • External links (no broken links or links to ‘bad’ sites).

Off Page SEO

Unlike On- page SEO, Off-page SEO refers to activities you perform outside the boundaries of your website. And these include:

  • Link Building
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Social bookmarking

Link Building

Link building is one of the most popular and effective off-Page SEO method.  Basically, by having external links pointing to your web pages, you are gaining more authority, trust and other search engines ranking metrics inclusively as you can, so that you can bypass your competitors and rank higher.

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To further break it down for your understanding, Let’s take for instance, if you enjoy reading this article and for that cause, you reference it to other readers on another website or blog, then this is like telling search engines that this page/post has good information. And immediately, search engines honour, regard and raise their ranking metrics to this blog and sooner or later Lightup Info will begin to rank for that reason.
Over the years webmasters have been trying to build links to their websites to get higher rankings on search engines and they ‘invented’ manual  ways to increase link metrics. The most popular ways are:

Blog Directories – something like yellow pages but each entry has a link directed to a website.

Forum Signatures – Many people who comment on forums are doing this for the sole purpose of getting a link back to their website (they included the links in their signature).

Comment link – The same pattern as forum signatures where you would comment on some other websites or blogs in order to get a link back to their websites. You could also use keywords so instead of writing ‘comment by Aniekan Edem’,  you write ‘comment by How to Rank Blog Post’.

Article Directories – By publishing your articles in article directories you could get a link or more back to your website. Some article directories accept only unique content while other directories accepted anything from spin articles to already published articles.

Shared Content Directories – Websites like hubpages and infobarrel allows you to publish  articles on their platform and in return you could add a couple of links pointing to your websites.

Link exchange schemes – Instead of trying to publish content you could get in touch with other webmasters and exchange links. In other words, you write an article on my blog and add a link pointing to your website and I do same.

The Introduction to Black Hat SEO

One of the easy ways to manipulate the search engine algorithms to increase rankings is basically Link building and many spammers have tried to take advantage of this by building link networks which gradually lead to the creation of what is generally known as black hat SEO.

Google has become very sensitive and smart in recognizing black hat techniques and with the introduction of Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, they have managed to put in control the issues and protect their search engine results from being tricked by spammers.

Of course there are still exceptions but they are doing advances in every new algorithmic release and soon enough none of these tricks will work anylonger.

To “Dofollow” or “nofollow”

Adding to the statements above and in order to give webmasters a way to link to a website to their blogs without passing any ‘link juice’ (Authority flow from a certain website), search engines introduced what is known as the “nofollow” link.

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Some comment boxes and post boxes do not allow links to be added in posts. In this case, there is a special tag you can add to text and it will turn to a link.
Here it is, for example; (“<a href=http://www.lightupinfo.com rel=”nofollow”>Lightup Info</a>) that tells search engines not to pass authority flow to the referenced website.

This was done just so that you don’t pass link authority (Dofollow Link) to other websites from yours. If google notice that you are exchanging links, your website will be penalize with immediate effect.

As a rule of thumb, you should add the nofollow tag on all your external links (within your pages/posts) that go to websites you cannot trust 100%, to ALL your comment links and blogposts links and to ALL banner ad links.

What Then is a good link?

So, What Then is a good link if the above link (Nofollow) is not useful?

Let’s know that link building is not only a matter of quantity(How many links you are able to point to your webpages) but it’s also a matter of quality(How high are the google ranking metrics placed on the root linking domains) 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 does not have the same ‘weight’ as a link from New York Times or a link from Matt Cutts blog (former head of Google Quality team) is not the same as a link from Lightup Info.

If you ask Google they will tell you that any link pointing to your website has to be organic links (natural links). Natural links are exactly what their name implies. A website owner or blogger likes another website or blog and naturally adds a link to his/her blog.

A natural link building has more value from the reader’s’ point of view rather than the search engine’s point of view.

The best way to attract links is to publish quality content that attracts readers to want to share your content on other blogs. That exactly is the best and natural way to build links.

Some comment boxes and post boxes do not allow links to be added in posts. In this case, there is a special tag you can add to text and it will turn to a link.
Here it is, for example; (“<a href=http://www.lightupinfo.com rel=”nofollow”>Lightup Info</a>) that tells search engines not to pass authority flow to the referenced website.

Is guest Posting a good practice to build links?

Guest posting can be a good practice to build backlinks to your website, but you have to be careful so you don’t abuse it and face the awful penalties of google.

Social Media

Social media is part of ‘off-site SEO’ and it’s also a form of link building. It should be noted that almost all of the links from social media sites are “nofollow” but this does not mean that they do not have any effect.

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Social Media mentions provide good ground as ranking factor and proper configuration of social media profiles can also boost SEO.

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking is a good way to get traffic to your website though it not as as popular as it used to be in the past but it is still and it also play a part as a ranking factor.

Importance of Off-Page SEO

The primary aim aim of Search engines is to return the best results to the searchers.

To achieve this, they take into account the on-site SEO factors (described above), some other quality factors and off-page SEO.

Off page SEO gives them a very good indication on how the World (other websites and users) perceive the particular website.

Search engines believe that a web site of a high quality and standard which is also useful is more likely to have references (links) from other websites; it is more likely to have mentions on social media (Facebook likes, tweets, Pins, +1’s etc.) and it is more likely to be bookmarked and shared among communities of like-minded users.

Benefits of ‘Off-Page SEO’ to Website Owners?

A successful off-site SEO will give  the following results as benefits to website owners:

Increase in rankings – The webpages will rank higher in the SERPs and this in the other way round means traffic.

Increase in PageRank – Page rank is a number between 0 and 10 which and is perceived by Google a website’ quality rate  and it’s important depending on the number a website’ falls under. PageRank is a system invented by Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google founders) and one of the reasons that Google was so successful in showing the most relevant results to the searchers.

More exposure – More exposure which indirectly means Higher rankings is one of the Off-Page SEO benefits to website  owners.  When a website ranks in the top positions: it gets more links, more visits and more social media mentions. It’s like a never ending sequence of events where one thing leads to another and then to another and so on.

WarningBe kindly advised, this post does not in anyway support blackhat or any manual or automated manipulations to rank but rather to provide knowledge and to make you avoid violating google and other search engines terms and conditions. You will be penalized and your website will SANDBOXED (A place in search engines where your website can never rank again forever) if you try. Google is way smarter than you may ever think.

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