Nothing is quite as sure as change; that’s an old saying that definitely applies to search engine optimization. Strategies that once earned favor with the major search engines can now send pages to the end of any search results. Understanding those changes matters, according to Kate Skachko, SEO manager in Toronto and a leading expert in the field. Here are some examples that will help you understand what’s happened and what you can do to protect you page rankings.
Keyword Stuffing is Dead
Keyword stuffing was a common tool at one time. It involved trying to fit in as many trending keywords into a piece of content as possible. Along with the number of trending keywords, using them repeatedly could also increase rankings. In some cases, the practices made no distinction about relevancy to the actual content. That made it possible to include a side reference to some currently trending event no matter what the page was all about.
Search engine algorithms no longer reward this type of activity. Instead, it can be enough to banish a page to depths that no one is likely to get to easily. Instead, the focus is on using keywords that are directly relevant to the topic and using them naturally. This has led many business owners to use content that focuses on providing data that readers will find helpful rather than focusing primarily on getting them to the pages.
Local Searches Have Gained Ground
Back in the day, the major search engines were likely to include national results to any type of query. While the intent may be to find something locally, any nearby establishments or sites would only show up a little further down the line. While still on the first page of the results, they rarely got top billing.
In recent years, the search engines have paid more attention to providing local results that are helpful. That means someone searching for the closest restaurant in a national chain is likely to see that information show up in at least the top five results. As more people make searches that are local in nature, this means more exposure for nearby businesses.
Mobile is Now King
The days when most people used desktop systems to conduct Internet searches are over. While they still account for a significant number of searches, smartphones have flipped the tables on how people look for the information they want. These days, the average consumer is more likely to grab a smartphone, pull up a search engine app or go to a widget, and start searching.
For this reason, it’s not surprising that an analysis of Toronto SEO results will focus heavily on the percentage of smartphone searches involved. Understanding this one thing can influence an optimization plan in many ways.
Link Farms are Worthless Today
You may not know much about link farms. That’s a phrase once applied to sites set up for the express purpose of sharing links. The idea was that if you posted a link, you would in turn share a couple that were already there. Purportedly, the best link farms made it possible to build audiences in ways other methods could not.
Sites like this rarely rank high these days. Even the ones that still have somewhat decent rankings don’t accomplish as much as robust social media pages, blogs, or other methods. For this reason, they are highly unlikely to be included in any viable plan for search engine optimization.
There are other ways SEO has changed in the last decade. If it’s been some time since you evaluated your company’s online presence, now is the time to arrange for an assessment by an expert. The right changes can do a lot for your rankings and for your company’s reputation.