When it comes to search engine optimisation you must always be prepared to change, to try and adapt to the changing algorithms. This is an on going aspect of any SEO consultant’s job and that is “keeping up to date”.
SEO at one time was pretty straight forward, you would simply optimise your page making sure META tags and titles were optimised. The system was taken over by spammers so the engines had to adapt in order to maintain the quality of their results. Things started to shift towards off page factors and mainly linking. It was thought off page factors were more autonomous and they would make a better indicator of the popularity or quality of the site.
Did this stop the spammers? Nah, they quickly developed massive link farms to create masses of link popularity, this was soon stamped out and link farms should be a no go for any serious search engine optimiser.
Google are probably the main advocates of off page factors and give only around 44% weight to on page content. META tags are redundant and keyword stuffing is a thing of the past. The problem is the spammers always find a way through a new algorithm and it is a constant battle to keep them out.
2 Articles stood out to me this week and add some context to the debate of change? I think any experienced seo expert will agree that things will always change and there will never be a perfect system, however the debate is focused on how it will change. Being able to pre empt Google’s strategies would make anyone very rich indeed.
There is a debate floating around that Google may swich to analyzing social aspects of a site, how many users or readers? How many people connect to it from social networking groups. This is how Google will test the popularity of a site.
There is also a fairly vague argument suggesting that Google may one day give more weight to sites with brands, as a brand tends to resemble more trust and therefore better quality of information.
This could be quiet an interesting one if it ever came into force and suggests Google will observe the visitor data of a site and what it’s users do. Things like low bounce rates and more pageviews would suggest a site is high in authority and therefore needs to sit higher up in the rankings.
This simply suggests that one day all search engines will charge and the more money you have the better you are able to compete. This would be the end of the small online business owner and would make the online world even less accessible than the real world of marketing.
I personally do not think that any of the above hold any real weight as all methods are as open to abuse, if not more, than the current analysis. Paid listings will stop people searching as much hence less traffic = less money, social stats are easily manipulated as are also analytical stats. The brand name might have something, but how exactly will this be assessed?
I honestly believe that the future of search engine optimisation is firmly in the hands of linking and relevance. Yes Google and others may tweak their system in order to route out spammers. This may be by doing more manual checks? However I feel that SEO will evolve rather than being completely wiped out.
While ever there are search results there will be search engine optimisation and I can’t see it leaving us in the near future.
What do you think?
Author: Tim (294 Articles)
Tim Grice is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 7 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Head of Search at Branded3, an SEO agency in Leeds.