The Evolution of SEO:What I Have Learned After 8 Years of Digging

SEO Strategies

 

SEO is complicated.

No doubt’s it is frustrating at times. You think you have implemented the best SEO strategy things right and then one fine morning you woke up and see your site has gone down into hell!

You lose the majority of your organic traffic, lose your money keywords and you have no clue what has gone wrong.

You scratch your head but can’t figure out what is it that makes things worse for you.

This is a pretty common picture almost for every new SEO out there. I have passed through the same phase a numerous number of times after any major Google search Algorithm changes and believe me I was pretty clueless about what should I need to do the next.

But the beauty of SEO is it changes. I have joined in the SEO field in the year 2010. Oh! the golden time!

Backlinks(Still The Golden SEO Strategy)

This was the time when people used to make backlinks furiously without any such logic.

I have even seen people working in a health niche website building backlinks from an automobile website!

This sounds insane today but back in those days, things worked like this. To be honest Google was less concerned about the relevancy and stressed more on quantity. This results in more spammy websites rank in the top instead of the quality websites.

But things have changed a lot! In these recent years, Google has become smarter and intelligent and can easily trace down these spammy techniques.

Things which have worked fine in the past can penalize you now! So make sure before building any such backlinks which you do not think will not relevant for you.

It is better to refrain from building any backlinks if you think it is going to be spammy and irrelevant!

But if you think you can get a mention from a very high authoritative site then it can make a good choice for you.

A linkless mention from a good website is better than a dozen links from unrelated/spammy sites.

Though backlinks are still considered as one of the most major factors of search engine positioning it also depends on the source you are getting those links.

The summary is link building becomes link earning or link acquisition to be viable these days.

So change of strategy.

The Rise of Mobile SEO

Back in those old days mobile was not that important at least in terms of SEO. People used fancy mobiles, used to listen to songs in their mobile phones but nobody had thought that mobile will be a key factor also in SEO!

The impact is such drastic Google has to shift their priority from desktop to mobile! The advent of Mobile First Indexing is a game changer in this section.

Once those people who used to do their window shopping on Desktop and Pcs now turned to their mobile devices!

They often use their mobile first to research things then go to the desktop. Sometimes they just but from their mobile only! This makes the user journey so much complicated.

So mobile is a key factor for influencing the majority of buying decisions these days.

The rise of AMP(Accelerated Mobile Pages), Responsive mobile design is the benchmark for any website. If you are ignoring mobile you are ignoring Google!

So re-think your SEO strategy! Make mobile the priority and you will be golden!

The Rise and Fall of Spammy  Guest posting!

Guest posting is one of the most effective techniques for building any outreach SEO campaign that can directly impact your website traffic. When I have joined in the industry back in 2011 similar to link building people used to post meaningless spun content to other websites for Guest posting Sometimes webmaster exchange money for this.

This is a true abuse of the system. Guest posting quickly became a spam technique. The abuse was so extensive  Matt Cutts quoted “Stick A Fork In It, Guest Blogging Is Done”

But Guest Blogging is still alive and running well if done for right purposes. As long as you are providing users the real value Guest posting cab still drives a good amount of traffic! It is just as simple as that!

Change in Content Marketing

Content is the oxygen of any good SEO strategy. What I have understood is without content you can’t build a good SEO campaign or any other online marketing plan.

But not just any content you need good quality content which can solve your user’s problem or can fulfill some user intent.

Without the above those no content is useful. This is especially true if you are running a blog. In the case of blogs, your main motive is to provide useful content for your readers which they love.

So you need to do that on regular basis. In the initial days of my career, I used to submit the same thin content to different Article submission sites, Directory submission sites just for gaining some backlinks.

This worked extremely well in those old days, But it doesn’t work anymore. If you apply the same techniques then it would be a suicidal SEO strategy inviting Google for a link penalty.

So be careful when doing that.

When it comes down to content then you should also prefer to use the long form in-depth content.

According to Neil Patel, you have to write minimum 2000+ word content every time if you want a good amount of traffic.

Now there is a reason behind it!

As you write in-depth long content there is ample chance you can rank for many related terms in your niche which can be profitable for you.

It is not quite possible in case of a short form of content. This works because they acquire backlinks and organic SEO traffic from Google and other search engines in a longer frame of time, making it evergreen content.

This also make you future proof against thin content penalty(Content created only for the purpose of thes search ranking with no such value on its own) of Google.

Another important factor in content marketing is its readability. If you write a great content but if it lacks readability and proper formatting then it can be very annoying to users and there is ample chance that they will abandon your content.

So use proper formatting, bullet points, subheadings to increase your readability. You can also use tools like SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant to help you in this case!

Remember users loves skimmable content. So make your content like that.No-body loves to read a  chunk of texts. So break their boredom by using interesting images, meaning videos. It will keep their attention on your content helping you to make you improve your bounce rate and SEO dwell time. This also makes a good user experience which can indirectly help in your search rankings and help you to maximize your SEO benefits.

The Rise of Social Media

Almost around e decade ago when there was Orkut everywhere, Social Media was just a fancy place! People used to love to spend their spare time. It was nothing serious. Fast forward 2018. Social media has become a revenue model for many businesses!

Facebook has 1.94 billion monthly active users while Twitter’s monthly active user base has jumped to 255 million in 2017. Social media has become an integral part of any SEO strategy today.

Why Social media is so  successful?

It has some reasons. First of all, no other medium will give you the chance to do extensive personalized marketing to your audience except social media.

It acts as one to one communication medium which can send your user the right message in the right time. With the advanced demographic targeting available you can target your customers all the time without being annoying.

With the advent of machine learning and advanced optimization techniques, things are pretty advanced today!

Social signals are an evolution of search engine optimization that can make your business reaching new heights.

With that the impact of Social media is so huge sometimes it beats search engines also. For an example in the case with the 2012 mass shooting at Colorado’s Aurora Movie Theatre. People were posting stories, giving updates of the incident faster than any news channel or Google that time!

This is fast! The trend is like that.

Another big evolution came to Social Media with the advent of Quora-like websites. Social media is not only for fun anymore. If you are looking some solution for something in Google 9 out of 10 times a Quora answer will come up!

Isn’t it amazing?

You are getting your answer right way!

This is so huge that Google is also started to give direct answers using their ‘Google Answer Box

The Rise of Video SEO

Frankly saying when I joined my first job 8 years ago I knew nothing about video SEO Or YouTube SEO. The video was just not that important at least from SEO perspective.

We were primarily concerned about the website. But time has changed.

Nowadays Video SEO is as important as website SEO.

Every serious SEO marketer needs to implement a special Video SEO planning. Video SEO is different from traditional SEO.

Right from the keyword research to creatives you have to make things a little different.

The principle is the same but the implementation is a bit different.

For example, as for keyword research, Google Keyword planner may be a good keyword generator tool for normal SEO as it fetches keywords right from Google. But in the case of YouTube it is better to use a keyword tool specifically designed for YouTube.

Keyword tool like ytcockpit is a good option here. Also if you want a more complete YouTube management tool you can look for TubeBuddy.

It will provide you suggested keyword tags, competitor insights, keyword ranking statistics which you can use it for your channel growth.

With all the management tool you also need to maintain a strict publishing schedule to maintain the channel growth.

It is always recommended to link back your website from your YouTube videos for that extra traffic!

Not only for YouTube you can also apply the same strategy for other such YouTube Alternative platforms also.

Internal website Structure & User Experience

Back in old days having a website with few pages were good enough to attract visitors.

But not anymore!

The internal website structure and the user experience is a key search engine ranking factor these days.

For that, you have to build a good internal site structure, clean SEO friendly URLs, easy to use navigation architecture.

I always recommended a clear HTML sitemap and breadcrumb is the must for all websites. If you are an e-Commerce store than it is super effective!

Always make your important pages close to the home page. Because users are lazy so you must make your important internal pages not far than two clicks away from the home page.

Also, make sure you are running on https as users are very concerned about their privacy and so as Google. Mention a clear privacy policy and disclaimer page for your website!

It doesn’t matter if you own a billion dollar e-Commerce website or a personal blog a privacy policy page is always there.

It is also a good idea to implement GDPR compliance for your website which makes it more robust than ever!

The Data-Driven Approach

Data is everywhere! Isn’t it?

We know of at least 39,898,129 live websites using Google Analytics. But how many of them are using the data?

Google Analytics usage

Image Source:BuiltWith

Having an analytics tool installed is of no use if you don’t leverage the power of it. Google analytics is an amazing tool where we can analyze the data to make our websites better.

Do you ever tried to know the trend of your user last month?

Is it declining?

If so is there any landing page is causing this? The new blog post which you have launched last week, how is it performing?

There are so many questions to ask and so much more to do with these analytics data. Properly analyzing the data and segmenting your users according to those can make wonders for you!

Data is the future! What we need to do is to able to hear the story the data is trying to tell us!

That’s is! If you can understand data it is just a matter of time to be the next Amazon!

Interestingly Google has provided us with some great tools to leverage the data! Google Analytics, Google Search Console are some of the examples of these tools!

Leveraging this data in your SEO strategy will not only help you in case of our organic SEO but also help you boost your paid campaigns also!

The Evolution of Local SEO

Local SEO has come a long way. Local SEO is an integral part of today’s SEO strategy.

What is local SEO?

Local SEO is an SEO strategy by which we optimize your business website to appear locally to those people who are searching for services or products like yours.

According to Forbes, 95% of smartphone users have used their device to perform local searches, out of which 61% called the business and 59% visited.

So ignoring the local SEO is not wise. Hopefully,Google has provided again a fantastic tool to list your business in  Google’s Local 3 pack.

Yes, you guessed it right! Google My Business!

Often I think  Google My Business is an underused tool.SEO marketers need to use this tool more effectively. Not only providing the basic information,Google My Business can help you to showcase your business more prominently you ever think!

Do you own an e-commerce store? Then you can showcase all your special products, deals, offers with Google posts under Google My Business!

Do you have a blog? Then you can showcase your latest blog post using it. What’s more, you need? You can also upload a virtual tour of your store! If you have bulk locations to set up you can import them also. It is one of the most versatile online marketing tools I have ever experienced!

On top of that, you can also get the golden insights for your business and find what are the real search terms the real users are using to search your business!

Ah, what a treat! The limit is endless here!

Beside Google My Business you can also use local citations to make your local SEO strategy works better. Related blogs, other local business listing site like Yelp can make your job a lot easier!

The Impact of ASO(Mobile Apps Optimization)

The number of Mobile apps is in rising!  According to Statistica, till  2022, it is projected to grow to 258.2 billion app downloads. So mobile apps are growing rapidly. With this amount of competition you also need a proper optimization plan for your mobile apps.

ASO Salary

Source

In simple terms, ASO is SEO for mobile apps. Back in 2011 when I joined in the industry there is no trace of it, But now there is an entire industry dedicated just to ASO professionals.

The average salary for app store optimization jobs is $69,908*

So keep this a check!

Conclusion:

Hope you like my SEO recommendations and understand what has really changed in years! So keep in mind and always adapt your SEO strategy according to that! If you like the post please share this with your friends and also comment below your valuable suggestions so I can reply you back quickly!

Do you have thought I missed some points, please also let me know!

 

Thanks

 

 

 

 

Soumik Ghosh

About Soumik Ghosh

Hello Readers, I am Soumik Ghosh,founder of Tekkibytes. In this blog I write about buzzing Technology news Tips,Internet Marketing etc. Stay Connected!

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