We're in 2014, Google is smarter and stricter than ever. Their intent? To do EXACTLY what we do.. in providing the best service possible to their consumer base. And I hate to say it, if you're not in the game to provide quality, your tail is going to be short lived. I'm well aware we're in this to make a dollar, but providing the end user with something of quality will always be the way forward.
What this means is techniques of the past are long gone. Spamming, poorly spun articles and PBNs with easily discoverable footprints are a thing of the past. Focus on QUALITY, content is and ALWAYS will be king.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not the typical preacher of writing exceptionally good content, having like-minded individuals find you and share your content across their whole network.. it'd be great, and everyone would live happily ever after... however, the reality is this just doesn't happen for many people, in many niches.
What I can recommend however, is in providing value. On your money site's blog posts, allow a good day to write a solid post.. not a couple of hours. You can post one crappy post every two days, or one 2500 word post that covers an entire topic and long-tail keywords each week.
Let me make one thing clear
Social Media Mentions
Links from high DA Sites
Copy competitor backlinks
They all work. Granted in their own way, whether for SEO purposes or traffic generation, however, they all work. PBNs work, and it isn't THAT hard to eliminate footprints. This isn't going to be a post that delves into the depths of link building, but rather a wake up call to those that are searching endlessly for the next quick tip on SEO. For the most part, it's the same as it always was, you just need to be smarter about what you're doing.
Let me tell you one thing, I've ranked amongst websites such as BBC with 25m search results with nothing more than Pinterest.. social networking ISN'T dead. This doesn't mean I spammed the daylights out of it, this means I created high quality content, people found it useful and shared it to their network.
I've ranked a clients keywords for moderate competition with just one PR5 contextual blog post - it was, however, an informative article, that wouldn't be able to be uncovered as spam.
I don't follow Matt Cutts, I don't follow the 'latest' trends.. I browse WF and a number of other MMO forums to see what people are doing; but I take advice with a grain of salt.. stick to your guns and do what has always worked. This isn't rocket science people; it's all about being consumer-oriented and providing value for the intended audience.
When you create a Web 2.0 don't think.. 'I need to include images.. a certain length of text, videos'.. think 'I need to provide VALUE'. If including an image is relevant, do so - if you find a video which better explains a portion of the content do so. Don't limit your post to 500 words if another 500 words will completely cover the entire topic.
Blog commenting is a topic that people have completely ditched as of late. It's an excellent source of anchor diversity, and if you actually provide some useful insight - you've discovered another traffic generation source! Use your name, or penname, in the 'name' box, and link back to your website in the URL section. Don't blast a 1000 blogs with Scrapebox with the same spun comment and expect Google to turn a blind eye on this. Don't just go after high page rank, look for sites that are well indexed and provide quality content to their target audience.
That was just a short spill on my part, but I best be getting back to productive work. I'm happy to answer any questions people may have, and if you think I've completely lost it.. let me know!