After Google implemented Panda algorithm update in February 2011 & Penguin algorithm update in April 2012 we have witnessed huge transition in SEO strategies. Before that, using targeted keyword in meta tags, repeating keywords on pages, buying or freely generating backlinks from spammy(non relevant) sites was the key to get on first page of Google SERPs. On top of it, with Hummingbird update, Google moved towards the smarter way to rank pages based on intent of query. Google’s motive was to return pages which actually a user is looking for and satisfy user with most relevant page which is not promoted due to bad practices. Most of the websites owners who were aware of the fact that such old traditional SEO practices are not going to work anymore. Such sites had gone through huge transition and overall impression on Google.
Now, with recent Rankbrain update a machine learning strategy came into picture. Google looks to go deeper into interpreting query much better way to return most relevant pages to user. Having a mobile friendly webpage and faster loading website is also an obvious things added with small algorithm updates.
Overall the strategical changes in Google algorithm in last 5 years have major impact which was never before. But we have to understand the intent of it and re-implement the changes on website end. By looking at all updates and recent trends I have below SEO tips for 2017 to increase appearance of web pages in SERPs
- Content is king, anytime – Good topic driven content matters the most. If you are creating a page for a query, make sure content of page should thoroughly justify the keyword. A key is to user should spend maximum time of web page and navigate inside website only. In this proper UI & UX practices should be followed and content should appear strategically. Additionally try to provide more depth to content. Good in-depth article also get impression in SERPs. For any web page topic of that page should be justified. A visitor requirement should be fulfill and design, content & responsiveness of site will help more in this. Adding to this you should chose page titles wisely which is clear indication to search engine for which page is about.
- Mobile Friendly pages – It is now become mandatory to have mobile friendly website. Your website should appear properly on every screen. Adding to this website should load faster on every devices. According to report, 56% of traffic source is from mobile devices. So, if we take into account the usability factor we should make sites faster and responsive.
- Social Signals – Yes. Social signals matters and it has been proven fact. As the traffic generate on particular page, it gets more impression in SERPs. The idea behind is – popularity of web page over internet. You must have social profile & pages active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and more you can add.
- Local Optimization: If your targeting business to particular location, you should have Google place registered for your business which is verified itself by Google. Your website should be listed in local directory websites. Adding Google location map on contact page is also key trick to indicate search engine about your location.
- Good Back-links Matters – Still the concept of back-links exists. Your website need to have back-link from relevant and high ranked site. Any spam or irrelevant back-link will be penalised by Google. You have to take care of which sites are linking to your website. Also you should have proper off page strategy where you will know who is linking.
- Ranking boost for HTTPS – Google officially announced that SSL certificate will be used as ranking signal. HTTPS protocol ensures encrypted transmission of data between client browser and server. Google recommends every site to have this protocol and ranks slightly better ranking for those site. It is must for e-commerce sites.
With above factors, it’s clear that core of the SEO for any website is – content of website should be meaningful, must be acknowledged over web and have good website in terms of design and usability on any devices. And for this every business has to do efforts for their website and provide value to visitors.