So the title of this article is a bit of a play on words. Yeah, we’re talking about networking with other people (real people). But the idea is that the web is an interconnected cyberspace where you don’t exist if your website is not connected with others. Catch our drift? Alright. So what use is writing this article? Call it a helpful hand. Call it a synthesis of reasons and ways in which web developers and SEO professionals need to conceptualize networking, because you simply can’t work in web development without it. Where to begin…
How about with the two kinds of networking?
Great idea—let’s describe how we should be conceptualizing the idea of networking in the first place.
This refers to any and all manifestations of your or your company’s digital profile. We’re talking social media, backlinks, directories, guest posts, outbound links, publicity, e-mail marketing, etc. We’re taking the word networking and laying it out clear. When we say you have to network, we mean that you have to contact people and companies online and interact with them digitally.
As much as we love digital networking, in-person events are the bees’ knees. When you participate in live networking events, or even impromptu networking meetings, you’re exposing yourself to all the new trends in web development in a place where the digital barrier cannot disrupt your comprehension of these changes. And nothing can replace the human element of social interaction (that’s funny: who before the telegraph would’ve thought that this sentence would ever have to be said).
Some conceptualizations of digital networking
Using Google’s Penguin to understand networking
Let’s address Google’s Penguin algorithm. It came out in 2012, but its most recent update was on October 20th of this year. A lot of sites have been affected by it.
The question that everyone (especially web developers and SEO professionals) has been asking is: How?
Well, the most important change in Google’s almighty algorithm is the fact that it penalizes to a much harsher degree than before all black-hat SEO techniques. Basically, it attacks bad networking. So if digital networking refers to the link structure of a website both on and off-page, then Penguin 3.0 will have something to say about it. Link only to trustworthy websites. Don’t use obvious keyword anchors. Steer clear of blog networks and paid links. You wouldn’t hang out at a networking event with a sketchy guy who’s paying you pennies to do so, would you?
Social Media networking mania
The other conceptualization of digital networking finds fruit in the form of social media. You already know what we’re talking about—Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and a host of other profession-specific platforms. If you haven’t allied yourself to social media and yet you work in web development, there’s something amiss. Twitter, for example, is one of the best tools to find out about new trends in the industry. But there’s something else that the concepts of social media and a website’s linkage share. That’s the Penguin algorithm. A new twist with Penguin 3.0 is the weight the algorithm gives to strong social authority associated with your domain. This means sharing your content to social media, and linking those profiles. Never before have SERPs been so closely related to the reputation of a domain’s social media presence. Now, digital networking in one field (linking) cannot be disassociated from digital networking in another (social).
In-Person networking for Web Developers
Networking is not just for web developers, but for SEOs, designers, project managers, start-up entrepreneurs, and pretty much any other professional anywhere. This is personal outreach at its very best. The kinds of things that can begin thanks to a networking event are unknown, and that’s why so many people go.
If you’re like me, then you spend a lot of time on the computer. Sometimes it seems like I live on the computer. But it’s those face-to-face encounters that represent the kind of socializing that you must learn to transmute to the digital sphere. You need backlinks? Be authentic, create awesome content and approach people in a friendly, professional way. Also be welcoming, knowledgeable, and helpful.
Conclusion: Be authentic in-person and digitally
I won’t write how to find networking events—I’ll leave that to you. The purpose of this article is to express the intrinsic sociality of our professions both digitally and personally, and to try to take a pot shot at detractors of networking in general. Even if you never find a client at a networking event, your business there is to meet and learn, and how you present yourself there should be consistent once you’re back behind the anonymity of the screen. If you go into networking with preconceived notions of what you’ll get out of it, you’ll always be disappointed. Penguin 3.0 is trying to force websites to be more authentic, prizing quality content over all else. This is a good thing, and I see a relation between better website interlinking and authentic networking that I hope I’ve been able to relate here. What do you think?