As a big fan of football, I thought I would have a little fun with the playoffs that are going on with an SEO conference championship playoff post. We are going to look at 4 broad categories of SEO and though all are important, I will put them up against each other in a battle based on what is hot right now, what has been a perennial power, etc.. This is all in fun and all facets of SEO are important but I like to keep things entertaining.
The Less Technical Conference Championship:
ON PAGE VS. OFF PAGE SEO
Tale of the Tape:
On page SEO is crucial because it is basically how you aim your content at search terms. Utilizing your meta-tags and general content to best target your content at the specific search terms that people use is crucial. The argument for on page being so important is because in our industry “content is king” and if you have a strong site or a powerful gun, it doesn’t do much good, if you can’t aim it properly, and on page is how you “aim” your site.
Off Page SEO has always been crucial because it is a huge factor in how strong your site. It is called off page because it involves getting those off site relationships or “inbound links” to your site proving to Google and other engines that you are reputable because other sites are willing to send their visitors to you. This is like the referral in the real world. It is the heart of your domain strength and link metrics are a huge factor in what you can rank for as you can aim your pages all you want, but if your site isn’t strong enough, it won’t show up on that first page. Their argument would be that you can accidentally rank for decent terms with good strength but without strength you won’t show up anywhere.
The Winner: Off Page SEO wins in a squeaker. This perennial powerhouse has been the leading factor in ranking for years. Number of links, reputation/strength of links, recency of links, etc. have been leading factors of success for years and although they need to be coupled with good on page SEO, they squeak by in this “chicken or the egg” question with a last second victory as those recent news links will always give you a boost and that gave them a last second victory.
The More Technical Conference Championship:
IN PAGE VS. LOCAL NAPS
Tale of the Tape:
Local NAP’s or Name, Address, and Phone citations have been important for several years and the consistency of this information is crucial for your local search success. If you are a local business that relies on Google local results it is crucial you keep on top of this. I’ve seen companies drop off the radar from problems that surface due to minor issues like street addresses being presented inconsistently in different local databases. Just the difference between Trail and Trl. in a directory can cause serious damage.
In Page SEO involves the technical aspects of SEO that have been growing in importance in recent years and especially this year. This factor is like the wild card team that gets hot at the end of the year and then makes a run through the playoffs. Google has been becoming more technically proficient at measuring these factors so things like mobile friendliness, site speed, and site errors (links to nowhere, duplicate content, etc.) have grown in importance and can be the difference between success and failure.
The Winner: In Page SEO dominates the second half and wins going away. Due to Local Nap’s primarily only being important to local businesses, and the fact that the pigeon update and other changes have given even more importance to reviews and proximity, while other Google algorithm updates have increased the importance of the off page technical issues, these factors are trending in different directions. Again, both are important to be on top of, but In Page is a growing star and wins going away.
The Super Bowl of SEO is set up. In Page vs Off Page to battle it out for the Championship coming in a blog post soon.