From Google to social media, search algorithms change on an almost weekly basis. Google alone makes between 500 and 600 algorithm updates annually, posing a new obstacle for marketers to learn and optimize every few months.
Each time an algorithm changes, marketers everywhere rush to study the updates and decipher the best ways to capitalize on the new code. Amidst all the algorithm changes, search engine optimization (SEO) as a whole remains supported by core pillars. These core staples often see changes within each of these updates, but when executed correctly these pillars will help your website maintain its distinction within search results, no matter the updates.
SEO Fundamentals & Techniques to Consider
Algorithms come and go, but optimization is forever.
Utilizing and updating these fundamental website components will ensure that your website, brand, and content remain in prominent positions in search results.
1. Ensure Your Site is Visible.
Each website carries its own tags, indicating everything from the website’s title, what content is covered, and what links are provided. Search engines take stock of all these key factors, and index how relevant they are through website crawlers that identify key components on every website available. If your website is not visible to these crawlers, it can’t be ranked for placement within search results. By confirming that your website is labeled with proper titles, loads correctly and completely, and presents your brand in the most straightforward way, your site will be visible to crawlers, which will allow it to be ranked based on the remaining SEO factors.
2. Premium Content is King.
Content has always been king, but with algorithms seeking more dense, quality content, ensuring that your site is providing worthwhile information is key. In recent updates, Facebook has adopted similar algorithms that seek out superior content and places it higher in consumers’ search results, making this component of SEO one of the most important ones to perfect.
Many recent algorithm updates have been programmed to flag and penalize websites that over-populate their page with weak content, abuse keywords to achieve clicks, or use irrelevant links within content to try to garner more traffic. Once web crawlers locate pages guilty of any or all of these follies, the page is flagged and assigned a lower ranking, removing it from the first few pages of search results. In order to combat this, websites need to provide content that is informative and keyword optimized, without becoming laden with too many buzz words. This has been the case throughout many algorithm updates and will still ring true several updates down the road.
Working with the same optimization, web crawlers seek out links on pages to ensure they’re driving users to worthwhile content. Many marketers strive to achieve as many links directing to their website as possible, not realizing that search engines are programmed to look at the quality of the linking website, not the quantity of links. Attaining these quality links is a result of generating superior content that premium partner websites will want to share, thus linking back to your website as the creator.
3. Don’t Forget About Mobile.
As Millennials move into the role of the most prominent generational consumer, they’re shifting away from desktop and laptop usage to more mobile usage. This generation predominately relies on their mobile devices to do everything from keeping them connected to completing their grocery shopping. Google recently announced that they’ll be implementing a mobile-first index, meaning that companies with mobile-friendly websites will be among the top-ranked search results, with desktop sites taking a backseat.
As we continue to approach a mobile-first world, it’s crucial that brands create a responsive website design that adjusts to mobile users and provides a mobile-friendly browsing experience. This shift in mobile website indexing will only continue to grow, and will be welcomed by websites that have optimized for mobile viewing and will be displayed prominently within search results.
Algorithms will continuously change, but when they’re met head on with a website based on the core components of search optimization, your site and content will remain a prominent result across all search engines, providing the brand lift and awareness that SEO was designed to facilitate.