With new algorithmic updates including Panda and Penguin, Google has already changed the face of traditional search engine optimization. Content that lacks quality and bad linking practices have been done away with. Google‚Äôs initiatives compel people to stay away from tactical SEO methods (such as increased keyword and meta data optimization and indiscriminate link building) and focus on a more strategic approach. Industry experts say that Google has made changes that could tell you something about the future of SEO. Here are some of these changes:
- Webmaster Guideline Changes – Google made changes in the Link Schemes section which now includes advertorials, article and guest blog campaigns on a large scale, and optimized anchor text in articles and press releases. These changes are designed to prevent unscrupulous linking practices. So instead of just focusing on building links, enhance your presence in social media, forums, and blog comments. This will help build awareness about your site. Offer fresh and informative content that offer value to readers which will encourage natural shares and other social signals by others. Using optimization tactics such as meta tags, file names updating, and other SEO measures to improve organic traffic would help a lot to improve your PageRank, rather than just relying on building links.
- Moved Completely to Secure Search – Starting September 23, 2013, Google has changed all organic searches to encrypted searches using HTTPS, so that the no keyword data will be passed to website owners and they can no longer segment users according to the keywords with their web analytics software. While responding to the overwhelming reaction over keyword data loss, Matt Cutts said, ‚ÄúSucceeding in SEO will be the same as it’s always been if you’re doing it right ‚Äď give the users a great experience‚ÄĚ. This change is a warning to the webmasters who still use only tactical methods, telling them to think beyond keyword optimization and develop user-centered content that is valuable and informative.
- No PageRank Update after February – If you go to the past, you can find that Google normally update the PageRank numbers displayed on the Google Toolbar every 3 months or so. But, Google has not updated those numbers since February 2013. Matt Cutts has already said that Toolbar PageRank will not be updated again this year. Whatever be the effort you put in to improve PageRank on the Google Toolbar, the result will be the same. This indicates that Google PageRank will soon lose its relevance in measuring a site‚Äôs performance. In the future, webmasters have to move beyond the web page optimization techniques that solely focus on search engine rankings.
- Hummingbird – The Hummingbird algorithm released on September 27, 2013 allows Google to understand conversational search queries much better than before. For example, if you submit a search query ‚Äúshow me pictures of Google Glass‚ÄĚ to Google, you can see the images as the top results:
It is expected that the Hummingbird algorithm will reduce the importance of exact match keywords in the course of time.
- Google Plus and Authorship – By sharing posts on Google‚Äôs social media platform Google Plus, you can find a place on the Google search page, as the search giant has now incorporated Google Plus posts in its search results. People can also use Google‚Äôs authorship feature to give authority to your content and make it unique to bring in number of visitors. If you incorporate the +1 button with the content on your site, users can share that content on their Google Plus account and earn you links by building relationships. So, Google Plus will soon become a crucial platform which can help you to generate quality content and links.
- ‚ÄėIn-Depth Articles‚Äô Feature – Google introduced a feature called ‚ÄėIn-Depth Articles‚Äô recently, which includes a block of three search results shown at the bottom of first search engine result page while searching for a broad topic. For example, if you search for ‚ÄėGoogle‚Äô, you will get the following results.
Such articles may be months or years old, find a place in the first page of search results as the content is relevant. So, the new way to rank better in the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) is to create in-depth content.
In short, the latest Google changes favor content generated for users, not for search engines. A professional SEO company should be able to provide efficient search engine optimization services to help you generate such content and achieve SEO success in present and in the future.