On 1 January 2012 it’s a good time to take stock of what happened in SEO last year and what will likely happen this year.
One of the biggest things from last year was the Panda update that killed off a lot of low quality websites. Then in October we had an update that seemed to reward the sites that were regularly updated and had regularly increasing incoming links.
The message from last year: successful SEO is focused on quality content being regularly published.
Nothing new, really. Just good, sound practices that many have been preaching for years. Only now you get a penalty for not following it.
This is a trend I believe will become increasingly important this year. It ties very well into the focus on social media that will undoubtedly be huge this year. It lays a great foundation if you want people to share your site around.
I predict that this year will be the year that social media and SEO are truly integrated. I don’t know whether a new term will be coined to cover the integrated approach, but I can’t see anything that properly covers it.
With Google bringing out Google+ it will have far more data and control of the social space than ever before. This will translate to a much better idea about what people deem relevant. Bing has a data sharing deal with Facebook, which will give it a massive competitive advantage.
At the end of the day, all the search engines are trying to do is serve up the most relevant results for each query. The better a search engine understands the query and the person making the query, the more relevant the results returned will be.
Add to that Google’s personalized search – simply allowing cookies or being logged into your Google+ account drastically changes what results you see for a query. It also has avatars saying “x person shared this” which are huge attention grabbers. The more people share your articles, the more people will see them, regardless of any ranking power or other SEO factors. It’s word of mouth marketing at its finest.
That’s not to say SEO is dead. By no means. It’s alive and well. But ignoring social media will cause you to lose a lot of search engine visitors that you could easily get otherwise.
As I see it, there are 3 pillars of SEO:
- killer content
- a powerful website
- social marketing
Being great at all three will ensure your success in the search engines in 2012, I believe.
Killer content takes time, effort and practice. You need to know what you’re talking about and craft a well written article, video or audio. Multimedia is very important to having killer content, so make sure you at minimum add a relevant, interesting picture to every post.
A powerful website is what we would traditionally think of as SEO: quality inbound links, good site infrastructure, integration of search terms in your content, etc
Social marketing takes time and commitment. You can’t build a following of 100,000 on twitter overnight. And even then, engagement is far more than sheer numbers. Just chat to people, build relationships, hang out. You’ll meet new friends and maybe even enjoy the process! :)
Finally, don’t forget Bing. Google was all powerful until 2011 when Microsoft finally came to the party (in classic Microsoft fashion). Bing now commands anywhere from 20 to 30% of searches, which could be the difference between your business breaking even and turning a healthy profit.
So what direction do you think SEO will take in 2012?
Other Prominent SEO’s Thoughts On The Direction For The New Year
- Social Media: A Must Have or an Add-On?
- Don’t Scale Back On SEO In 2012
- How Can Bloggers Prepare for SEO in 2012?
- 18 Trends Which Will Change SEO in 2012
- SEO Predictions and Advice for 2012
Keith Davis says
Came over via twitter.
“As I see it, there are 3 pillars of SEO:
I’ve just changed my site from a static site to a Genesis theme website with a blog.
The blog should enable me to keep the content current and I shall be writing as regularly as possible.
I’ve also just joined twitter in order to get into the social media thing so that just leaves inbound links!
Any tips on getting inbound links?
Mike Haydon says
Hey Keith. Love the Minimum Theme on your site. Looks great. As you’ve probably figured out, this site is also a Genesis theme site with a blog, so we’ve got a similar setup.
Social wise you need twitter, google+ and facebook (minimum) – linkedin a highly recommended bonus.
One of the best ways to get quality inbound links is guest posting. Also look into building a strong presence on hubpages & squidoo.
I’ll be doing some posts expanding on all that over the next few days. Stay tuned :)
Very nice article though I feel the October update also penalise sites that were regularly updated.
Do you think these sites can come back in search results ? How can we improve the rankings without knowing the exact problem.
Mike Haydon says
One of the sources of confusion is that the search engines primarily rank pages, not sites. If your pages have slipped, try updating them.
Thanks for sharing this nice post. its really be a helpful post for us. I also want to know about the tips on getting inbound links?
Mike Haydon says
You could start by using your real name in blog comments – it’ll greatly improve your chances of site owners approving your comment. Unless your name really is “paving slab”.
Great post, I am definately making sure my focus is on doing things that are real for SEO this year.
Staying far away from any type of artificial content.
I also believe social media will play a big role this year and creating content that people want to share will make seo much easier.
Susan Silver says
I think social and SEO are about to collide in some major ways. I have been experimenting for awhile with more social techniques to get views and shares. Although I am trained on good SEO technique I also like writing content that breaks all the rules. Some of these are my most engaging posts. I find it strange sometimes what a community likes vs. what people find useful via search engines.
Peter Geary says
SEO for 2012 I hope will be even more successful for everyone of us. Thanks for the post.
hmmm, i think there is only one who can do best SEO for your site and i.e YOU, youself. No one understand your seo requirements than you. So First do In-site SEO and than come to 0ff-site. and enjoy ranks.