SEO Ranking Factors and the "Winds of Change"
An interesting infographic was published on ben-norman.co.uk that describes the major factors that go into SEO page rankings. I was struck by the depth of the changes in the SEO industry over the past several years. Things that used to be important, in fact, used to be critical, are no longer there. Things that didn't even exist a couple years ago are now important. And that is not a bad thing.
For example, "on page" keyword usage today boils down to using keywords as you would when speaking naturally to a customer. No more keyword stuffing...instead you must use them judiciously in your content, title tags, meta descriptions and headings. It is evidence that search engine marketing is falling more in line with traditional print marketing values. Speak to your customer and not to the search engine algorithms.
Another highlight is content marketing. Content marketing is certainly a favorite buzz term right now, but it is based on solid marketing concepts. Instead of throwing half-baked, "spammy" content onto your website that no one wants to read, take the time to generate quality, unique, applicable content. Spend time making it into something that you'd trust to share with your friends and colleagues. It is about quality and not quantity.
The infographic also mentions that 27 million pieces of content are shared every day on the web. That means that your content has to be incredibly unique to stand out. It's great to see the general trend go from unreadable, keyword saturated content to incredible, quality articles. But 27 million articles shared per day highlights another problem. There is so much good content now that you can not possibly keep up with it all. So what will the next trend be? Another article I read this week theorized about content marketing shifting into something else...towards something they dubbed "zero content" marketing. While that might be an extreme, you can see some website leaning towards a minimalist, single-page presentation.
There is also a noticeable change in off-page SEO techniques compared to the recent past. Dwindling are the days of publishing random press releases and reaching out for any external link you can find. Again, it goes back to quality content. Press releases should be about significant, newsworthy things you want to share. Links on relevant websites should be there because you honestly earned it with good content. Make something someone wants to link to and you won't have any problems getting the links you need.
Even the SEO benefits of social media are changing frequently. This past week, the debate raged over whether Google+ really is as big a factor in SERP results as some recent studies have shown. Throw in the future potential of Google authorship and the potential dangers of guest blogging and it is easy to see why the winds of SEO marketing change are a blowin'.
About the Author
Eli Remington is the web marketing director and a partner at SaberLogic, a professional services firm that provides custom development, programming services, integration consulting and technical support for Infor® ERP Visual® and Epicor® Vantage® ERP. SaberLogic also specializes in Crystal Reports® development, custom programming and custom web development. Follow Eli on Google+ and Linkedin.