There’s no denying that SEO, and the Internet business at large, have changed fundamentally in the last year or two. While some were quick to proclaim that SEO is dead (again!), it is more likely that the “algorithm chasing” SEO is the one that’s on his death-bed. He will not be missed too much by many webmasters and business owners!
However, Google’s devastating trinity: Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird update, have left the SEO community in disarray. Which SEO strategies are still “safe”, and worth pursuing – now, and in the future?
Let’s start with the on-site SEO: forget about keyword density and other similar old-fashioned metrics, the goal now is creating a good user experience!
Ask yourself: what are the needs of your audience? How do you plan to satisfy your users, so that they stay on your site, interact with it, and do whatever you’ve designed your site for them to do. You should know what your bounce rate is, and work actively on minimizing it.
Google is now recording the engagement metrics, which can affect your rankings. This will not likely change in the future, quite contrary: user’s engagement will be more important than ever.
Semantic SEO is finally coming of age. Help search engines better understand your content by adopting semantic HTML: it will pay off in the long run, because the future of the web will most likely be semantic!
Off-site SEO makes many a webmaster want to throw up their hands in despair! Small wonder!
Those caught red-handed in link buying, employing “link wheels” and other link schemes, have suffered the most from the recent Google changes. Google will certainly continue its battle against what he deems “web spam”, so be very careful with link building. Some types of links can now actually hurt your site rankings.
The only type of link building that is recommended now, and in the near future, is the manual link building. The most frequently dispensed advice when it comes to link building is to vary your anchor texts and link to inner pages as much as possible. But, even that is not completely foolproof. Some SEOs claim they’ve abandoned link building altogether!
We can certainly expect some further developments in this area, because what is a web if not a myriad of links pointing to one another?
Social media “fad” has proven to have a staying power, so expect even SEO to become more “social” in the future. Having in place a strong social media presence and a solid content strategy seem to be a common characteristic of those winning at a moment.
Having said all this, the most important piece of advice when it comes to SEO is that nothing ever stays the same for too long. Things change, and on the internet – things can change very quickly! So pick and choose your SEO strategies wisely.