10 Dec 2013

SEO Paradigm Shifts To Follow in 2014

If you have been in SEO for any amount of time you are already well aware of the constant change in tactics and strategies. In fact I would argue that if you have left the industry for any amount of extended time, you are likely going to need a refresher course!

Now, despite the fact that tactics and strategy are constantly changing, the fundementals generally tend to stay the same. However, every now and then even the fundemtenals tend to change and bring with them paradigm shifts.

Old Paradigm New Paradigm Demand for Shift
Link Building Branding/PR Historically, link building has meant developing content and then doing targeted outreach to get interested parties to link to said content. This strategy has worked wonders for the vast majority of SEO’s life span. However, with the advancement of pattern filters such as Penguin, it has become increasingly more difficult to do link building at the needed scale with out accidentally creating a pattern that can get flagged by a search algorithm. Therefore, in the future, focusing more on public relations and the media will be a better way to drive quality signals to a site. Some of these signals will come in the form of links, and some will simply be brand mentions. Both of which will follow the same organic patterns that communicate value with in the search engine’s index.
On-page Optimization Crawlability/Usability Optimizing elements on a page is still a very important part of SEO. However, Google is now getting much better at figuring out parts of markup that used to need to be perfect. Now a much more pressing technical need is within a site’s “crawlabilty” and user interface. With new algorithms such as Panda, SEOs should be paying more attention to how the site is being crawled and used when it comes to optimizing “on page”.
Keyword Research Persona and Audience Research Keyword research is still very important, but have you noticed that Google is handling queries a bit differently these days? They are now using more synonyms, and processing phrases along with terms. And now with Hummingbird the query processing is happening before the results are called. Which means that in some cases keywords on the page won’t be as a strong of a factor. Historically, SEOs would optimize keyword usage based on the content on the page. Now with Hummingbird this type of research starts with the user’s intent and needs. Thus persona and audience research is vital.