Google turned 14 in 2012 and like any teenager it is still trying to acquire skills to face the world with more confidence and put its best foot forward. Obviously SEO – Search Engine Optimization has a direct correlation with search engines but as the search engines become more capable and as the search algorithms evolve and become more sophisticated many in the SEO world are even contemplating to rechristen SEO with some other name.
But does calling SEO by some other term change the true meaning of SEO? As a matter of fact has the SEO process and procedures changed or as they say is actually SEO dead?
The answer is NO, NO and an emphatic NO.
As black hat SEOs first focused on keyword stuffing and then went on link building sprees now after the Panda and Penguin updates this confused lot is talking about content development and undoing all the link building they have done in the past.
|Survival of the fittest (Photo credit: onkel_wart (thomas lieser))|
But some of the SEO Evolution facts are:
1. SEO is not dead but has gained more life for people who understand the genuine meaning of optimization for search engines.
2. SEO has come under more scrutiny as the search engines are more capable now to detect spam and have upgraded their algorithms to penalize spammy techniques.
3. As websites moved from static websites to dynamic websites increasing the potential for regular additional content the search engines too first worked on indexing such content but this year the focus has been on penalizing thin and poor quality content to give more quality results to the users.
4. Websites penalized are the ones with poor quality non topical, spammy links and thin content.
5. Websites which catered to technical aspects of SEO and do not have low quality links and thin content were not affected by the updates.(That’s what my experience says) Its like if you have a good track record it adds up to your goodwill.
6. With social and search integrations and upgraded algorithms one needs to do more that just on-page optimization and technical SEO. One needs to focus on UGC (User generated Content) and offer a regular flow of content in the form of blog posts , videos, infographics , images, podcasts, etc. to be able to generate the UGC and share it on various social media platforms to generate the much needed social signals.
7. Panda or no Panda content has been king since the first web page was published on the web. It is Google who has become capable in picking quality content in 2012
8. The on-page and technical SEO still remain the same but as the search engines have evolved and are better equipped with advanced algorithms the completion for high rankings has increased and Darwin’s theory of “The Survival Of The Fittest” is largely applicable today on the web.
9. Where there is content there is a creator hence Google came up with the Authorship Tag and the Knowledge Graph – The next big step to qualify content and the creator.
10. If content creation is a necessity then content curation is the answer if coming up with regular content is a problem.
11. SEO is just one aspect of the whole online presence. As Scott Gardner of Bank of America had mentioned in a related discussion on SEO 2013 : Search is multifaceted. Don’t forsake any part of the pie. Make sure you don’t lose the market share you’ve gained in other areas. You need a balance.
12. When we optimize the site the focus is on factors which will retain a long term search presence and thereby generate targeted traffic .
13. Rankings are important but when we speak of SEO we work on the quality factors of the website and then earn the rankings to get targeted traffic but incase of PPC we pay for the rankings and buy the targeted traffic.
14. It is the prime duty of every SEO to educate the client about the true meaning of SEO and make them set realistic SEO expectations.