Search Engine Optimization Predictions For 2015
The following outlines what’s new, what’s working and what Google has in store for us this year. There's been a lot of changes and we've been testing out what works for seo and local search. If you read one thing this month, make this post one of them!
What’s Working In SEO Now (Key Focus Areas):
Light-Touch Guest Posts
Obviously, I’m referring to guest-posting. It doesn’t take many - and remember, this is a credibility game! Use varying anchors for each post and maintain a steady drip (even a handful a month).
Boosting, Boosting & More Boosting
Boost your content, aka "Publish" your content to different outlets. You can use social media, syndication services, etc - just make sure you're getting your content out there!
Focus at least 60 - 70% of your SEO budget on these two areas - light touch guest posting & boosting (i.e. amplifying the content).
Disavow Bad Links (Monthly!)
Yes, I know this sucks… but the reality is that it’s a relatively simple task that yields excellent ROI.
Each month, use whatever your favorite link analysis tool might be, to track down crappy links that your sites will naturally pick up and then disavow them inside Google Webmaster Tools.
The reason why you need to do this on a regular basis is so that your sites don’t unwittingly cross a sort of “threshold”, either with Penguin, or a manual spam action. (Particularly Penguin, though, since recovery times are brutal). This can easily happen if you let crappy links like this add up over time.
- To sum this up - here’s what absolutely works in SEO right now: Light Touch Guest-Posting + Boosting + Monthly Disavowal = Results!
Here’s What We Think is Coming in 2015:
I’ll have to expand on these as we move into the 2015 SEO year, but for now - here's what coming...
It’s no secret that we’ve been massively testing “crowd-searching” and CTR/bounce data in terms of influencing rankings - and that we’ve unquestionably seen results with this. However, it’s not as simple as it seems on the surface.
I’ll expand on this shortly, but suffice to say, there’s more to it than simply having people run searches, and then click on your site. Nevertheless - this will absolutely be a major factor going forward in 2015, and it will be akin to adding gas to a fire for those sites who are on page 2, or at the bottom of page 1.
(FYI - It’s not a new-site strategy, it’s for sites that need that extra boost to hit the top)
Onsite, Loading Times, Social Factors and Engagement will Increasingly Matter as Time Goes On
These signals are already important, but we predict that a site’s importance and authority will more and more be measured (by Google) based on its actual engagement, social presence and otherwise “site side” data. Especially given that the web continues to “unify” its data across the key players - Google (and all of its touch points), Facebook and Twitter.
Add in the ad exchanges that are all in bed with those platforms (as well as with Bing/Yahoo), and you have a situation where basically about 95% of the entire internet user base can be quantified and tracked by its biggest player... Google.
What this means, is that it will become increasingly difficult to “simulate” the holistic signals that will be used to evaluate a site’s “rank-worthiness”.
This is something that Google has always claimed it could measure (which we all mostly ignored)… but given the explosion of how “big data” plays a role in the advertising world, they’re no longer bluffing.
Google can now easily determine whether real users in your demographic, from other competing sites, are also engaging with yours in the same way, and from there determine which sites actually appear to be valuable or relevant.
This is great news for some (real businesses who take their marketing seriously), and not so good new for others (affiliates, black-hats, etc.)
Again, I’ve run out of space - but I’ll be expanding on these in more detail as we get into 2015. (Both the predictions, and the stuff that’s proven to work, right now).
Thank for reading :)