With evolving search algorithms and digital environments, SEOs and digital marketing companies are required to adjust their methods based on the change being presented. Change management tells the digital marketing industry that we cannot stay in the past; we must adapt to the changing digital world. Change management is incredibly applicable when concerning link building and other methods commonly becoming dubbed as “dead” or “black hat” SEO strategies. Link building, a common practice among SEO, is not dead – it’s evolving.
Environment: What changed?
Following the Google Penguin algorithm update, link building practices changed significantly. In the past two years, both Google and SEOs have released statements about the changes – the decline of paid directories, articles, authorship, and guest blogging. Although these strategies have definitely declined in algorithm importance, we need to be careful to forfeit old strategies abruptly without a replacement solution.
Adhering to the practice of change management, begin change with a strategy. Formulate a strategy by means of brainstorming and questioning: How will we replace old methods? What can we learn? What needs to stay and what needs to go? Do we have data to support these decisions? Once a strategy for change has been formulated, put a plan in place to innovate your strategies based on data, empirical research, and the knowledge that a new practice must be implemented to maintain the power of links on your website.
Industry: How do we change?
Once a strategy is in place and you’ve come up with a plan for change, you can begin to implement your plan towards digital innovation and change. Again, you must have a strategy and plan in place, or you may risk your rankings, your SEO’s morale, and your understanding of the change at hand. Changes that have been common in the recent year have revolved around the parallel between link building and PR. Many digital specialists say link building is digital PR. Rather than paying for links, using reciprocal links, and guest blogging, reach out to real companies, agencies, and sources on the web and begin to build REAL relationships. Along with building relationships, keep pushing out great content. And by great content, we mean GREAT content – no spammy advertising articles, no duplicated content, but real stories that will grab the attention of your customers and will hold the potential to be linkable, sharable, and hopefully viral content.
Change is necessary. Though it is not pleasant in digital marketing, if the integrity of the web is to be maintained, digital strategies must continue evolving to uphold the quality of the way we search and the way we find great content. Now is the time to adapt and adjust – set a plan for change and innovate your link building practices to yield the best results possible!