Search engine optimization (or SEO) is what ninjas use to help their clients’ websites rise in ranking on engines like Google or Bing. And to say that SEO has changed a lot over the last decade is saying too little. The entire industry has transformed radically — and it’s still changing. Only a few years ago, researching keywords might help you take a barebones website from the internet dumpster pile to the number one search result on Google. But that’s not the way it works anymore.
One of the key factors in Google rankings is backlinking; i.e. how many other websites link to your content? Quantity has become less important over the years. Now, quality matters most. That means a well-trafficked site with lots of information on the relevant topics linking to your website is far more beneficial than one of the aforementioned garbage websites doing the same thing.
That means naturally finding companion websites for yours — and not asking them to link to every single article, which Google will flag really quickly. When that happens, you pay the price in rankings almost immediately.
And none of this is to say that keywords aren’t important. They are. They’re simply less important than they were, and we use them differently. In the future, high-quality content will continue to be more of a factor than simple techniques for building trust with Google’s algorithms.
Another SEO staple becoming more important is responsiveness in the mobile world. Who doesn’t have a smartphone these days? And people are becoming far more comfortable browsing the web on these devices, which means less time spent on their PCs. That’s why SEO gurus tend to optimize for mobile traffic over PC traffic. The website needs to continue to run better on mobile platforms — and this isn’t going to change anytime soon.