Just when you think you’ve mastered the art of search engine optimization, the game changes. With search engines constantly refining (and sometimes, redefining) their algorithms and parameters, SEO has become a constantly evolving art. In fact, SEO methods of today are starkly different than in past years. Here are the trends that are making waves this year:
Mobile Optimization is Critical
In the past, you might have gotten away with backlogging mobile optimization. That’s not so anymore. Because of the high import Google has placed on mobile usability, sites that aren’t optimized for mobile devices are now vulnerable to failure. When it comes to upsetting Google, no one wins – especially not your business.
It’s Gotten Technical
While you might think of SEO and content marketing interchangeably, the truth is that the two disciplines are different, although there’s some major overlap. This year more than ever, SEO has come to encompass technical elements, while content marketing remains the driver of search engine rankings.
Citations are the New Links
Inbound links have often been a powerful component of SEO, but this year, brand mentions are just as important. Google now differentiates between “express links” and “implied links.” The implied links are really just a brand reference that doesn’t link to a site but will likely spark web traffic.
Social is King
Google may have favored Google+ in the past, but this year, it’s all about Twitter and Facebook. Unfortunately for Google, the Google+ Authorship experiment wasn’t highly successful, so the social kings (Twitter and Facebook) will retain the most importance when it comes to SEO. Check out our ideas on how to boost your social media engagement.
Relationships = Rankings
While technical SEO skills are necessary to implement a great strategy, today, the SEO game has become more about relationships than about technical skills. Creating high-quality content that humanizes your brand is a critical part of this strategy. Blogs and social outreach is a bigger part of SEO than ever before.
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