EVERGREEN, COLORADO – The search industry is witnessing a paradigm shift. Over the past few years, SEO has evolved in so many ways. The changes have been so dynamic that it’s become a real headache to keep current with the latest trends.
The infamous Panda and Penguin algorithms have revolutionized Google SEO. In the near future, you can expect to see many more search algorithmic updates. Therefore, it’s vital to keep a close watch, constantly.
So, where’s search actually headed?
Old SEO = Technical SEO + Content Marketing
New SEO = Content Marketing + Technical SEO + Social Media
But, there’s a lot more to the fast evolving field of SEO. If you are an SEO practitioner or an SEO agency, you are left with no other choice than to evolve, adapt and embrace the latest developments. Unless you are ready to do so, you can suffer failure and it might even affect your business.
“Since Panda and Penguin updates, it is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve the same results as we did in the past and it takes longer to rank a new client at the top of Google. On average, our project time-frame has increased by about 30 percent while our cost has grown by almost 100 percent,” says Ali Husayni, CEO at Millionairium.
In addition, you can also see the glimpses of the future of Google SEO in factors like authorship, Google+ and Knowledge Graph.
In order to help you understand the modern-day SEO and keep you up-to-date, here are some of the most important search engine optimization questions answered for you.
Q: Is old SEO dead?
SEO won’t die. The tactics, however, will continue to change over time. Old SEO was more about keyword focus and gathering tons of backlinks from anywhere you could. Today, most of the old SEO tactics are out of the game.
Submitting press releases without news is something you should stop doing right away. You can’t achieve top Google rankings by mass-submitting your website to 100s or 1000s of web directories people don’t use.
Old SEO was all about using a couple of technical tactics to achieve high rankings in SERPs quickly. It lacked strategy. In today’s era of Google SEO, you need to look at SEO as a long-term strategy which includes extensive research, tactful planning and effective implementation.
Q: What’s the value of keywords in modern-day SEO?
SEO in the past was more about keywords. The focus was always on money keywords or anchor text. If you are trying to get your site’s keyword rankings from position #20 to position #10 or top of Google SERPs, you are approaching SEO with a wrong mindset.
Stop obsessing over keyword positions.
Focusing too much on keywords only means you care little about people. Rather than sweating it out to improve keyword positions, you should actually concentrate on building a ‘huge keyword portfolio.’ Start using long-tail keywords for a vast portfolio and more conversions.
Q: Do links (or backlinks) still matter?
No doubts. Links are still the lifeblood of a website, as far as ranking it in Google search results is concerned. It’s only that you need to break out of the mold and adapt to the new environment of link building.
The new SEO requires you to build a link profile that looks natural. It’s therefore crucial to have a diversified backlinks profile. To create diversity in your site’s link profile, you shouldn’t just go for many different types of links (wiki links, directory links, forum links, .edu links, .org links, .net links, .gov links etc.), but you also pursue sources that are credible, popular, current and relevant. In any case, you should say a firm ‘NO’ to acquiring backlinks from low-quality or unrelated sources.
Today’s link building is tougher, and more targeted.
Q: Is this true – ‘Content marketing is the new SEO’?
As the search industry goes through an evolution, it has included content marketing as one of the most important aspects of SEO. Mediocre or low-quality content will never help you achieve high search rankings even if you have a well-designed website packed with important keywords and few links.
In the modern-day era of SEO, you need to shift your focus heavily on creating stellar content that talks about the problems of your target audience, educates them and solves their issues.
“Good content will survive a whole host of algorithm updates! The point behind all those mysterious updates is to weed out spammy content. If your content is solid and your audience is engaged, the search engines will be able to tell – so you won’t need to completely re-think your strategy next time Google trots out a four-legged creature starting with ‘P.’,” says Jen Ribble, content strategist at ExactTarget’s Content Marketing and Research team.
So, say goodbye to low-quality content.
Q: What’s the role of social media in SEO?
Have you heard about social signaling yet? If you check out some of the well-positioned URLs in SERPs, you’ll notice that they also have a high number of likes, shares, tweets and plus ones. Social signaling or the number of social shares that you receive for a particular piece of content has become an important consideration for search engines to rank websites.
In order to measure the authority of a website, Google looks to social media for key signals like brand mentions and content sharing.
Q: How can Google algorithmic search penalties be avoided?
Though your website may face penalization due to various reasons, the two most commonly applied penalties imposed by Google include the Panda content penalties and Penguin link spam penalties. In terms of content, you need to get rid of duplicate content pages, low-quality content pages and thin content pages on your website as quickly as possible. If you want to avoid Penguin penalties, you should never indulge in questionable linking practices.
In case you have faced a Google search penalty already and are not sure what to do or how to proceed, it’s always recommended to get in touch with an experienced SEO professional or a reputed SEO agency.
What’s your take on the latest search industry developments? Please feel free to share what you think in the comments.