While experts continue arguing over the death of SEO, Google continues to introduce huge changes that are sure to add fuel to that raging fire. One needs to analyze recent changes from Google as well as modify goals and strategies since most of those changes are sure to have a huge impact on SEO.
Since September 23, Google has stopped providing keyword data for site owners that want to learn just how visitors have arrived at their websites. This prevents SEOs from learning about the actual intent of each visitor, which in turn adversely impacts their conversion efforts. While there are tedious tactics to overcome this problem, the fact is one important form of data has been lost to some extent by this move from Google. To be fair to Google, other players such as Firefox, IE, etc., have also made similar changes to make organic searches more secure.
Google has also stopped PageRank updates since the start of 2013. Previously, Google used to provide updated PageRank numbers after every 3 months, but no update has been provided by the company since February 2013. Google’s Matt Cutts has stated anyway that there will not be any further PageRank updates in the current year. However, many users feel that there are better measuring instruments out there that can provide far better results than PageRank.
SEOs will also need to burn costly midnight oil to comprehend Google’s latest algorithm, named Hummingbird. This update has the aptitude to comprehend search queries in far more detail than ever before. Google search can now present images upon request by a searcher as well as further details of those images. While the results may not be perfect, this feature indicates that exact keyword matches may not matter anymore to Google. SEOs will need to change their own strategy to keep up with the Hummingbird and future updates that are sure to refine this update.
SEOs also need to capitalize on the correlation established between higher search rankings and Google+. Google+ has grown by leaps and bounds, and there is no doubt that it does possess significant SEO value, especially when used with other tactics.
SEOs also need to focus on authorship since Google may well include this signal for ranking in the future. Google has anyway clearly indicated that it prefers new and fresh content along with the names of authors that penned the content. Google can also possibly look at social sharing, comments, links, and of course, +1 data to measure ranking in the future.
In addition, Publisher ranking, which is utilized to improve website authority may well play a more important role in coming times. Leveraging these features can prove to be more useful when SEOs use the new In-Depth Article feature released by Google this August. This new feature is based on the fact that a significant percentage of people wish to learn something new every day as per Google’s study.
Google’s new search algorithm updates suggest that the company is moving away from mere hardcore keyword matches and instead focus on learning the actual intent of the user typing a query. SEOs too need to re-visit their optimized keywords to understand the new signals being used by Google with each new update.