As search engines change you should too!
As you know full well, the search industry is constantly changing, and that means SEOs and businesses must adapt. This is always made abundantly clear at the change of each year as the previous year is reflected upon, and predictions about trends in the upcoming year are discussed. SEOs know that adaptation and ongoing education are crucial. The problem is that businesses don’t always understand just how much the search landscape actually does change. This can present a whole different set of challenges for both the small business and the professional SEO.
Searching for Profit founder Amanda Watlington recently discussed some arising trends in the search industry and how understanding the changing search landscape is of vital importance. One example of change is the possible inclusion of site speed as a ranking factor in Google. Matt Cutts dropped that bomb a couple months ago, and while many welcome it, a lot are dreading it.
For one, businesses and clients of SEOs simply may not be so eager to put forth the time and money required to make the necessary adjustments to their sites to optimize for speed, although it is clearly in the best interest of the customer’s experience anyway.
Another challenge, as Watlington mentions, is personalized search. Companies don’t always get that not everybody is necessarily going to see the same search results for any given query, and it can sometimes be difficult for SEOs to convince them that this is the case.
Although things appear to be looking up, budgets have been tight, and businesses are demanding better results for their bucks, but they are not always aware of the big picture, which is why it is up to the hired SEO professional to educate them as best they can, and for other businesses to educate themselves.
Luckily, there are plenty of industry resources freely available on the web. After all, you’ve probably read about the very tactics you have in mind there yourself. SEOs should find instances to back up their case to convince stubborn clients. Some of them are just hung up on outdated trends. Obviously this can make it hard to produce the results they are after.
“The evolution has been slow, and I don’t think we’ve helped it as much as we could,” Watlington says of companies’ understanding of SEO trends.
If you are the client of an SEO or a business trying to get things done yourself, don’t stay hung up on old tactics that might be outdated. At this point, these are some of the things you should keep in mind:
– Site Speed (it’s going to matter, so don’t ignore it…here are some things to consider)
– Personalized Search (Not everyone is going to see the same Google results)
– Universal Search (Showing up here requires attention to different indexes)
– Real-Tme Search (look for more evolution in this area)
– Changes in Local (there are frequently tweaks made by Google here)
– Some things do stay the same (things like reputable links will always be in style)
– Most importantly, stay informed (just keep up with the latest in industry developments)
As Watlington notes in the interview, metrics are very important, and there has been a great deal of focus on them in the industry in recent years. New metrics come about, just as new tools do. Metrics can help illustrate the bigger picture, custom-fit to a particular organizations goals.