We are settling nicely into this new year; though things have been turbulent in the real world, the web has enjoyed an easy, peaceful feeling so far – no major upsets or updates (some would argue they are both the same) have happened. Yet, late last year, Matt Cutts was definitive when he mentioned that the Caffeine roll-out can be expected after the holidays. Well, the holidays are over and the second month of the year almost upon us, so, those of you who haven’t yet taken stock of your SEO efforts, now would be a good time to do it. For, though SEO has remained largely unchanged over the years, this year will see some changes wrought to it thanks to the tremendous growth enjoyed by social media, and various developments in search technology. With this post I hope to bring you up to speed on all the changes you can expect to see in SEO this year and tell you just what you should do to claim a place on the SERPs.
1. Social Media Optimization Is The New SEO – This wouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone; in the last two years or so, SEOs around the web have come to realize and accept the immense optimization potential that social media offers. Now it’s even more important that you no longer see social media optimization as something that will take away from your SEO effort, but as something that will help boost it. Be it building good backlinks from individual social sites or building a robust network, or developing a strong social media presence with good profiles (that will also help you land on the first page of the search results) or even ensuring you’ve got a piece of the real-time search pie, using social media as a crutch to take forward your SEO efforts will (only) be a good idea.
2. Site Speed And Other On-Page Factors – If you belong to the group of people who think it’s all right to ignore on-page factors, then it is time you changed your way of thinking and got optimizing, the site load time in particular. In their (latest) effort to school the web in good behavior, Google has decided that a slow loading site doesn’t just align itself with their ‘Don’t Be Evil’ policy and hence needs to be ‘penalized’. Site speed will figure prominently in the algo this year, so will the oft-neglected Meta tags. So, get your Webmaster working on tweaking your on-page factors adequately or prepare to miss one crucial ranking opportunity. (Or many, for that matter) Read more