Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an ever-changing landscape. It was only a few years ago that users could automate thousands of links across the web back to their own sites to improve their rankings. These days search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo are getting smarter and smarter, with an increased focus on content.
SEO in 2014 is more about creating unique quality content which naturally gets shared by other users. The rise of social networks has created powerful recommendation tools. The value of our content being shared through message boards and guest blogging has decreased. Instead that role has been placed on social media, and rightly so! When you share a link, image, or video on your social media networks you’re effectively recommending that piece of content to your followers/friends. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the value of this increase significantly throughout 2014 and further beyond that. These days, we’re providing recommendations less through our websites (linking) and more via social media.
Another area we’ve seen an increase in importance over the past few years is the quality of the website itself. Search engines are beginning to implement algorithms which favour well built websites. No longer can you just increase your keyword density on a page regardless of the quality of the content itself, or spam your meta keywords full of phrases which you hope to rank for. We’re seeing Google look kindly on websites which perform faster, have accurate title tags, rich snippets and a good ratio of quality pages. All of these aspects help to benefit the end user, as opposed to make their experience worse (like we used to see a few years ago with heavily SEO’d websites). You should be looking to build SEO focused pages to serve the various topics and people, as opposed to building pages which serve rankings and keywords.
But just exactly where is SEO heading over the next few years? It’s hard to predict, at the end of the day we’re at the mercy of the various search engines. That said, if we’re following the current trend it seems that creating the best quality sites, experiences and content for the end user will lead to improved search rankings. Spending days, weeks and months searching for low quality links is unlikely to provide significant benefits in the long run.
I read a quote a few weeks ago stating “link earning is going to replace link building”, and I completely agree with this. We’re moving towards a world where creating quality content which people want to share holds much more value than simply generating a bunch of fake links. What do you think the future of SEO holds? Let us know in the comments below!