When it comes to Google updates, even small changes can have a massive effect. SEO lives and breathes by the Google algorithms, such is it’s dominance of the search market.
The last year hasn’t seen small changes though, far from it in fact. We’ve been hit by two of the biggest changes to SEO in years, first the Panda update, then the Penguin one. This goes on top of more manual penalties such as taking apart massive blog networks.
These changes are done, we are assured, to help improve Google search engine results. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. But what you can be sure of, is that every time the algorithm changes, the goal posts for those using SEO have moved.
As we said the last 12 months have seen some of the biggest changes when it comes to SEO. Panda and Penguin have both hit home, causing SEO practitioners to have to completely change their SEO practices.
Think we’re over exaggerating? Let us take a look at a few of the biggest changes this year has seen
- Backlinks Can Now Hurt. It used to be that backlinks were good, no matter what. The worst they could do was not to be useful in a positive aspect. But Google changed that, and now spammy links put up on sites can really hurt SEO.
- Negative SEO. Following on from this is the idea that you can now use negative SEO to send a site down the rankings. This means you need to know how to defend your own site from such attacks.
- The Rise of Google+. Google’s own social network is either flying or crashing and burning depending who you believe. But it still gives Google a huge amount of insight into users, and sites. A good Google+ site footprint can be a huge boon to SEO.
- Other Social Media Sites. Social media SEO has been coming for a long time…but it is in the last 12 months that we have really seen it come into it’s own. Search Engines can use social media metrics (follows, likes, etc), to understand the importance of a brand.
- Over Optimisation. Not the heavy handed approach Google first wanted to implement, but it can still hurt. Optimise everything for search engines exactly right and they’ll realise what you are doing, and hurt you for it. You can now get things ‘too right’.
- Keywording. Be careful when keywording now. Go overboard and the search engines will think you are gaming the system, and, again, hurt your SERPs for it. Be very careful.
What hasn’t change this year?
Awesome content still rules….. being original still is vital for link building and networking still is one of the best ways of building the “best links” out there.
Overall many people though that 2012 was the END OF SEO but I guess we are still here. Many people quit the race and other new people are starting.
Regardless what Google does… next year, or in 5 years time, you will still find results on top, and results below.
Where do you want to be?
You make the choice.