Changes in SEO
One of the biggest changes for SEO in 2015 was how Google evaluates links. Anchor Text is the one item that really sticks out for me. In 2016 we moved away from Exact Match Anchor Text towards using Brand and Call to Action and saw significant gains in rankings and direct traffic for clients. There are too many SEOs who simply cannot get away from the idea that “click here” and “more info” can pass more link equity than “Exact Match.” SEOs really need to start thinking about the web as an ecosystem and the links are the roots that connect everything together. Now that is not to say that “Exact Match Anchor Text” is dead, but it is on its death-bed.
Another honorable mention for 2016 is Google Authorship. This is a trust signal and when combined with a Google Plus Verified Name Account you have Trust with Google – this is huge.
For a while, people seemed to think that:
- A) SEO could impact their bottom line within 2 weeks and
- B) they needn’t think of the results of their SEO campaigns in 2 years
I hope that’s changed now. Your SEO campaign should focus on getting results in 1 or 2 years and take faster improvements as a bonus. On badly SEO’d websites a good SEO can still get tremendous results in a short period, and getting some nicely target links from high-profile sites can still boost rankings, so don’t stop doing that, just think about whether Google will still like what you’re doing in 2 years.
Good SEO always went hand-in-hand with good website design, great content and a good site structure, but many people took shortcuts to prevent having to work on that. Well, that time is over. SEO no longer stands for Seemingly Effortless Optimization, but for Seriously Effortful Optimization. Get to work. The first thing I’d do is look deeply at your site and get all the basics right again. Then see what you could do to make the site more worthwhile for your customers and prospective customers, while keeping SEO best practices in mind. Some SEO’s see that as giving in and agreeing that Google has won. I don’t care, I just want to help my clients make more money.