2010 Could shape up as a year to send SEO workers back to school. With terms such as Google Caffeine, Place Pages and the ever increasing influence of social media, SEO still remains a fluid discipline. There is no hard cover textbook, there is no sure-fire method to optimize – it’s based on several factors that change and evolve over a period of time and your success is based relative to your competition’s weakness. Let’s take a look at how SEO will be impacted from different vantage points.
The Social Aspect of SEO
There has always been a social aspect of SEO, and that was link building. Reciprocating links with web masters involved a two people to communicate and agree on an mutual beneficial action. To a degree this could be manipulated and exploited until one was caught in suspicious behavior where 1500 links were suddenly added overnight.
The social aspect has been increased with user generated content such as reviews, blogs, wikipedia pages, and anything else that can carry your brand name or URL without your direct influence. This brings a wild card element to the game that can add to the mix.
The Thoroughness of SEO
There are many tools to promote your business and there are ones that are looked at closely with Search Engines. Online directories, maps, content-rich articles and multimedia. What seems to be changing is that how well each avenue is utilized will have an impact on your business as well. Have a YouTube account? Are you uploading a new video once in a while? Are you tagging it correctly? Are you participating in the comments? Same thing with maps and directory accounts. The more content there is of your business using the most popular keywords, the more importance you be given. Don’t get too excited, however. The popularity of other people rating you, engaging in discussion and writing about you is a key part of this thoroughness. You’re not going to fill a forum just with your comments. Don’t even think of creating different user accounts.
The Cleanliness of SEO
With a lot of hub-bub over caffeine’s changes and other algorithm upgrades, for those who are doing what you are suppose to do (keep your page simple, add real relevant content periodically, work with peers in your industry for promotion) you don’t have to worry too much. You have a great relevant site and Google wants to reward you for doing what you are suppose to be doing. However, I know a couple “gray-hatters” that are pouring over online documents and forums to see if their sites are going to lose their standing because of the “gray” techniques they implement. My reaction to that
is if they poured that much energy into just increasing the business and customer service, they wouldn’t have to run around in the first place.
The Owner of SEO
It should be said that Google owns SEO. It’s their search engine that everyone wants to rank high on. It’s their algorithm that black hatters have tried to exploit which forced them to continually tweak it. It’s reaching a point that you won’t be able to “trick” or “falsify” your page to rank high because those who are abiding by Google’s “suggestions” will sky rocket.
In short: The people who play fair and are thorough will rise to the top.