The world of SEO today is different from how it was even a year ago. Search engine optimization was once very simple, consisting of using the right keywords with the right backlinks. But like all aspects of technology, SEO is constantly evolving.
Google, the search engine of choice for most users, recently announced another update to its search algorithm, a little more than eight months after its Panda update. The new algorithm aims to provide users with the most recent or “freshest” results. This latest update is expected to affect up to 35 percent of Google searches, while the Panda update affected 12 percent of searches.
Google has made some huge changes to search results based on a user’s location. Organic search results were once culled from a wider pool, but now depending on where you live—or for mobile users, where you are searching from—you will see local listings based on your search term inserted seamlessly into your results.
In the past, page one results for a keyword consisted of websites that were heavily optimized for that keyword. Now, even broad keywords bring up local results, potentially burying those heavily optimized sites into later pages. It’s important to optimize your website using local keywords while simultaneously taking advantage of sites like Yelp, Foursquare, and Google Places.
Focusing on Content
As always, content is king. Among the hundreds of different factors that algorithms take into account, relevance to the search query and page quality are the most important to a user. Content should consist of information that is relevant and unique. The Panda update began the practice of rejecting sites that simply packed as many keywords as possible into a single page.
With the newest Google algorithm update, it’s important to publish quality content on a regular basis. This makes blogs a great tool for generating fresh content frequently.
Social networking has changed in leaps and bounds just in the last decade. It was recently confirmed that Google uses social signals as a factor for page ranking. This includes links from Twitter, Likes on Facebook, and +1s from Google+.
If you haven’t already, investing in a social presence will dramatically help optimize your site. Commit a certain amount of time each day to sharing content and connecting with your followers.