The evolution of SEO
2012 was a year of many changes for the SEO industry – if you’ve been around for longer than a week or so, you’ve likely heard something about a Panda or a Penguin, spoken of with slightly reverent, if annoyed tones. These are not in fact creatures of the flesh, but rather the names given to two Google updates which have been rolled out, refreshed, and revitalized multiple times since their original debuts.
SEO began to separate itself into sustainable and non-sustainable strategies, though of course those who advocate for the more non-sustainable strategies aren’t going to come out and label their work as such. With growing momentum the use of automated systems, low-quality content, and general web spam gibberish began to fade away. In the void left by these things, a new brand of SEO began to emerge. I like to call it sustainable SEO because it is a strategy that can be used for an extended period of time without negatively affecting the website being optimized.
This new brand of SEO focused on quality over quantity – this is actually the foundation of both the Panda and Penguin updates, which targeted low-quality / spammy content and links respectively. In an effort to grow beyond the things they had done in the past, those websites that had been penalized by Google’s updates began working hard to clean up their websites and continue to build a better web presence from here on out. The willingness to settle for short-term gains has also begun to fade from the world of SEO, which can only benefit the industry as the trend toward sustainable strategies is helping to quash what remains of the non-sustainable aspect of the industry.
What your brand can focus on in 2013
If you are like many small business owners and internet marketers, you could always use a tip or two to help you out when it comes to SEO. Not everyone has the resources to hire an SEO services provider company to handle their SEO efforts, so I’ve gathered a few tips for you that should help you get ahead this year if you’re handling your brand’s SEO on your own!
- Network… a lot – Networking both on and offline is really going to make a difference in 2013. It is getting more and more difficult to find opportunities and build links, and getting to know people might be the key to building links above and beyond your competition. Networking can lead to all sorts of business opportunities, so it is never a wasted effort!
- Get social – Social channels have been a big deal for a while now, but don’t discount the idea of working with them just because the idea isn’t brand new. If your brand doesn’t have a presence on the big names like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Pinterest you may want to consider signing up for at least one of these. Choose the channels that contain the largest portion of your audience and work with media that you can easily and effectively produce.
- Analyze everything – Really learn how to master your analytics, even if you’re only using the standard set available through your chosen provider’s webmaster tools. These facts and figures can tell you a lot about the performance of your website and help you make changes to your strategy that can really benefit your brand.
What areas will your brand be focusing on this year?