SEO Battle: Search Tactics Go Head-to-Head

Posted by Mark Thompson - March 16, 2010 - SEO - 12 Comments

I asked Ann Smarty from Search Engine Journal and MyBlogGuest to give her opinion on various search tactics that were put head-to-head.  Although some of these tactics can’t survive without the other, it is interesting to gain Ann’s insights into these different search tactics.

1.  Internal Blog Content vs Guest Blogging

One is hardly possible without the other here. Without your own blog, there is not much sense in guest blogging. Because, most blog referrals usually want to read further, so you need to first give them some content and only then engage them.

2.  Blog Commenting vs Forum Commenting

Blog commenting. Blogs rank better than forums, so blog comments usually get more exposure.  However, from link building point of view, forum commenting may be more useful because blogs tend to use NOFOLLOW attribute in the comments much more often.

3.  Domain Age vs Inbound Link Profile

Currently – inbound links. However, like in #1 they hardly exist separately. Older domains have more links (and are expected to). If a new domain generates plenty of links, this may seem suspicious. So the two factors directly impact each other.

4.  Real-Time Search vs Local Search

Local search. It is more targeted and clutter-free (almost).

5.  Foursquare vs Gowalla

I don’t really have time to explore either properly but I’d say Foursquare. It just looks nicer :)

6.  Inbound Link Anchor Text vs Domain Credibility

Currently, anchor text seems to still be the strongest. But for high-competitive terms, definitely domain credibility.

7.  Infographics vs Video

Infographic: easier to create and less competition. With current online video boom, it is hard to surprise anyone. But an infographic usually does good.

8.  Widget vs Firefox Plugin

FireFox plugin just because widgets are over-used. And now you can also engage Chrome users as well.

9.  Facebook Groups vs Linkedin Groups

Facebook group (or a fan page). Broader audience, easier to promote and better engagement. How often do you check your Linkedin account? What about Facebook. They measure social media marketing success by engagement, so definitely Facebook wins.

10.  Blog Post Frequency vs Blog Post Quality

Quality always wins. Quality posts = more links, more comments, better exposure, etc.  However it depends on your aims of course. If you just need more search traffic, just post something daily.

11.  Goal Funnel Visualization vs Referral Traffic Analysis

Referral traffic analysis just because it is more fun :) No, really, but don’t you just check your traffic stats DAILY? And sometimes many times a day? This is so addictive!

12.  Increasing Site Traffic vs Conversion Rate Optimization

Of course, I want to say “It depends” but generally it s always wise to make the most of the existing traffic than investing into getting more, so I choose conversion rate optimization.

13.  Social Engagement vs Content Development

Both, of course :) But generally, content is what you always need to start with so, I choose content development. This is the foundation of your success, this is what you will be driving traffic to and this is what provides longer-lasting benefit.

14.  Great Site Structure vs Great Internal Linking Structure

These are dependent on each other. But a good architecture is the foundation, so I choose it. This is where you start from, in the first place.

15.  HTML Sitemap vs XML Sitemap

XML sitemap. You need an HTML sitemap only when your site architecture is basically broken. You need an XML sitemap always.

16.  Google Analytics vs Webmaster Tools

How can I choose? :) Well, if I have to, then Google Analytics because it provides more in-depth analysis and generally is an invaluable tool. And the benefit from the Webmaster Tools is generally questionable.

17.  Webinars vs Video Interviews

Webinars. Just because you are able to speak to more people at once and also this is more fashionable :)

18.  Local Industry Events vs Large Industry Conferences

Large industry conferences. Note: I haven’t been to none yet but I can imagine that there are more *important* people there.

19.  NoFollow Link from PR 7 Site vs Follow Link from PR 4 Site

Follow link. Putting aside all the rumors and theories about the nofollow attribute, per my experience, the benefit from it is minimal. But this is only about link building.  Generally, if the link on the PR7 site will get me more exposure and traffic, I’ll go for it.

20.  Free Shipping vs Promo Codes

Free Shipping because this is what people now EXPECT to see and you don’t want to ruin their expectations.

About Ann

Ann Smarty is a search marketer, social media enthusiast and a blogger. She has recently started a community of guest bloggers – My Blog Guest – please join to start guest posting!

About the Author

Mark Thompson

Mark is the creator of StayOnSearch and president of Search Creatively, a full-service Internet Marketing Company located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also contributes to many industry related blogs including Search Engine Journal and is active on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Mark on Twitter
11 comments
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We generate much more discussion on LinkedIn than we do on Facebook. Our advertising is CPM and is often sold over the phone, so we're more interested in driving up traffic than in boosting on-site conversions.

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Great points. Thanks for sharing. This certainly answer some of my questions about SEO and online marketing.

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Ela Iliesi

I've been wondering about many of this aspects, which one is better, what should I choose to focus on first..Congrats to Ann who seems to have everything very clear in her mind concerning SEO domain.

Josh
Josh

A lot of this really depends on your audience. The sites I currently work with have very concentrated niches (think products like forklifts and the machines athletes use in Connecticut to make it feel like they're breathing in Denver). We generate much more discussion on LinkedIn than we do on Facebook. Our advertising is CPM and is often sold over the phone, so we're more interested in driving up traffic than in boosting on-site conversions.And as you mention, a lot of these head-to-heads aren't mutually exclusive. A great internal linking structure is probably going to help you build a great site structure unless you're an absolute whiz at bad architecture, and you're never going to win purely on social engagement if your site content stinks.

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Organic SEM and SEO

Excellent list! Succinct and practical. Don't think I'd disagree with any. Would be nice if most of these would hold true for at least a few months. (#evershiftinglandscape)

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  1. [...] SEO Battle: Search Tactics Go Head-to-Head | StayOnSearch Domain Age vs Inbound Link Profile Currently – inbound links. However, like in #1 they hardly exist separately. Older domains have more links (and are expected to). If a new domain generates plenty of links, this may seem suspicious. So the two factors directly impact each other. (tags: SEO Battle Search Tactics) [...]