With new search engine, algorithm updates new truths in search optimization. SEO has changed dramatically in the past 5 years. An overhaul in ranking factors is evident, not only by throwing old practices to obsolescence, but also turning some old staples into taboos that might actually hurt your rankings. Changes in SEO generally points to a greater focus on shared content, thus, requiring website owners and online marketers to be more creative in optimizing content so it can be worth sharing.
A quick look at Google’s algorithm changes reveals the trend in SEO best practices. In 2010’s Social Signals update, a social engagement was added as an algorithm element. The Panda update in 2011 turned its focus on content quality, penalizing spammy sites that are plagued with duplicate content and redundant ads. 2012’s Penguin update improved focus on link quality, penalizing websites that have low-quality links. The latest update dubbed as the Hummingbird rolled out in 2013, emphasizing the importance of mobile-friendly sites and quality content. The Hummingbird update also offered continued emphasis on quality links and shareable content, while also giving importance to Google+. The updates leading up to today’s SEO trends reveal new truths as well as new taboos when it comes to SEO best practices:
- Meta keywords and Meta descriptions are no longer considered in an algorithm, although meta descriptions still hold importance in CTR.
- New updates outdate PageRank as it only considers a single factor—links.
- Too many keywords on your anchor texts might hurt your SEO. Create anchor text in a way that builds links and builds up your brand.
- Keyword-only domain names are taboo. Instead, domain names should be created based on your brand and your users’ experiences.
- No page should have similar title tags so that you can help search engines understand the unique content of each page.
- Duplicate content can cause major penalties
- Social signals are important.