What SEO means in 2015

What SEO means in 2015.

I personally have been doing SEO work since 1994.  In the mid 1990’s the largest search engines were Altavista,  Lycos,  Hotbot, Webcrawler.  Google didn’t exist and Yahoo was just a directory.

As you might have noticed, things have changed since then.    When Yahoo partnered with a small company called Google in 2000 to serve it’s search results,  it pushed a small startup from a garage to the 13th largest website at the time of the contract break with Yahoo in the early 2000’s.

The entire digital landscape changed from that point in 2000.  With Google serving both their own and Yahoo’s results people started flocking to Google.Com rather than Yahoo’s ad littered search results.   This placed Google in front of everyone and the rest was history.

Fast forward to the mid 2000’s.   At this point Google used to change their rankings via a huge push to the servers.    This typically was called a “Google Dance”  it was when every single time you searched for something the results changed.   Not all the machines updated at the same time and not every time you searched you reached the same machine.   It meant that during those updates you had no idea what your ranking was.   Geolocation was at it’s infancy and typically was not a huge part of their results.   

Fast forward to today.   Today roughly 40-50% of searches take place on a GPS enabled mobile device.   Location is important based on where you are searching as well as context and search history are factored into what the search engines are serving now . 

There are now services that “rent out office space”  or more accurately “rent out 1/2 a desk” in major metro markets so that small firms have a physical location in that metro and the arrangement allows them to rank in those physical locations by giving them the “legal right” to list their location in that market.   Tactics like this typically have a very short life span.    I wouldn’t count on an entire business model on something like that.  

Today the true key to SEO is the same it has been in the past 20 years.    It’s content.  

You write something good on your blog,  people will find it, link to it, spread it on their blogs, forums , social media and life becomes decent.  

Backlinks count,  but with all the updates recently unnatural backlinks cause more harm than good.   The best way to obtain backlinks is to earn them.   Not pay for them.

With all the recent hacks out there,  security is paying a greater and greater role,  with mobile devices most likely will be taking the lion share of searches soon it makes sense to invest in an mobile responsive design.

So here is the list of trends of 2015

1 –  The chances are going to greater that the person visiting your site will be on an small screened GPS enabled Android or iOS device than on a desktop machine.  If your website cannot display properly on a mobile device,  Google most likely will punish you in the rankings.

2 –  The chances are going to be greater that the person visiting your site will be physically closer to you.

3 –  The chances are greater that this device will not run flash (This has been the case for years,  but we still stumble on these kinds of sites!)

4 – The chances are that he or she will be landing on an article you just wrote as compared to a legacy page you wrote 8 months ago.

5 – The chances are that your still going to be cleaning up the mess you made for yourself 4 years ago when you bought all those terrible low quality backlinks.

6 – The chances are you’ll start to notice some non-phone mobile devices visiting your website.   They will be running a version of Android or iOS (mostly android) but they won’t be exactly a phone or a tablet.   Depending on the nature of your website,  they might just be reading (outloud) your article via the often cited as dead RSS feed to speak from a Smartwatch ,  Google Glass or other wearable.   You’re not going to see this much in the beginning of the year, but you might see it more often in a year from now.  We’re talking less than 1% of traffic total.

7 –  It is going to continue to be more difficult to get new visitors,  but easier to get repeat visitors due to the search history and click though rates being factored in.  Google typically assumes that if you went to a website and stayed there for more than a few minutes that it should continue to show you that site.   So your visitors will keep seeing your results up there.

8 – Social media will continue to grow as a factor of any marketing mix.  Though eventually these social media sites will start taking the same approach as Google has,  and simply give you the answer rather than sending people off to your site.   Trust me,  Social media like Facebook and Pinterest are at best a Frenemy.

9 – Related to 6,  more and more things are going to be connected.   5 years ago how many people streamed their TV and Movies vs today?   There’s a smart TV in everyone’s home now.   If it’s not “smart” by default it’s made smart with Chromecast,  Apple TV or Roku player.    Now people are setting their house up with NEST and their home security is online,  house cameras streaming all over the place.  The Fridge is steaming Pandora and your phone just alerted you that the oven is done cooking the turkey.   While the kids are watching Cartoons on Hulu Plus via a Roku player and you are updating Facebook via voice to text using Siri .   Remember,  you’re trying to get this same person to visit your website while this is all going on. This is going to be an interesting year.   Mostly because the progression of connected devices that can visit your site or at least read your content will increase dramatically over the next 12 months.