I tend to write refresher articles about SEO from time to time. Because when the world is in turmoil going back to the basics always help. Google’s penguin 3.0 was released last year (2014), Another update targeting mobile usability was released this April. So what all this tells us? Google makes money from their advertising primarily. A good portion of that originates from their search pages where people use adwords to get sponsored listings. (have we noticed an increase in the number of paid links in the top recently?) So in turn they would want their search to be relevant to the mass audience right? Then only they would trust Google as the search engine of choice thus using it all day long.
So to make it to the top 10 for a certain key phrase you need to maintain a level of relevance couple with the quality of your practice in your web properties.Do that and you are good for life. Regardless of whatever algorithm change that Google puts up, if you have checked all the necessary boxes you’ll be Google proof.
So what are the boxes that is relevant in 2015:
- Desired content for the intended audience
- The recurring traffic to your site (which is an indication of the quality of the content as well as it is getting updated)
- UX Usability of your site for all kinds of different devices (Desktop, Mobile and all the stuff in between)
- Non functional requirements usability such as security, fast loading, robustness etc.
- Having more pages (with meaningful content)
- Social signals (+1, shares from Google plus, Likes from FB, Tweets and mentions etc.)
- Link profile
- Ability to understand your market correctly
I consider these the most important. There may be more. Have your say in the comments section.
So let’s go through what are the latest additions to the list above. We’ll as you might have guessed having a non-mobile support site will actually get you down ranked. Not that you are penalized. But the sites with mobile support will get priority on the ranking.
SSL security for your entire site is another indication that you are serious abut your site and was once mentioned on Google webmaster blog as well.
Social signals were there for few years and I think they are being more relevant as the time goes on.
Link profile has been downplayed in terms of relevancy towards your ranking in the recent years I guess because with so many spammers creating link farms, paid links, door way pages aka middle man pages to drive traffic, Google had the last laugh. Yes you’ll still be voted up if you get a backlink from a well reputed site for that niche. But with the introduction of the “nofollow” tag getting a link that passes page rank juice is harder than ever before. Which reputed sites will be reluctant to do unless you fall right into their forte. So there goes the impact of getting backlinks from every tom, dick and harry.
So what if you are a really good NEW guy and wants to make it to ranking? You show Google that you deserve it. You show Google that you know your market and what are their needs. That is where researching your market comes. You cannot just go ahead and do SEO hoping that you would raking globally for a keywords. You can’t. Results are more and more local now. Every country has it’s own Google. EX: Google.lk, Google.com.au etc. So first rank withing your community, then city, then province/state and finally the country. Will it take time. Of-course. Sometime if will take years. Sometimes depending on the competition you can rank well in about 3-6 months. Once you get a decent raking for few of your keywords then focus on the content and social media more. Which will drive traffic constantly and Google will praise you for going to a good job by keeping you up there above your competitor who is doing a bit less of the good job.
I have not talked about onsite SEO which includes meta tags, H1 tangs, anchor text of internal linking etc. Because we’ve been over that several times in the past. They are just as important. So get your base ready first. Then move outside the house and step into the street.
Most of the above stuff are well known by SEO professionals. But few of the clients actually do. So this will help as a refresher to everyone.