Wednesday Roundup: SEO in 2017
What’s New with Search Engine Optimization?
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SEO is viewed in two lights. Either you’re like me, and you see the value in putting some time and effort into this practice, or you’re like many others that see it as a waste of time to try to “trick” the search engines into finding your content. Fortunately, Google has developed methods to make sure those black hat techniques, those that were designed to just trick the system, don’t work quite as well as they used to. Today, it’s more white hat SEO; methods that are fair and help your site get found online because your site deserves to be found online.
But SEO is constantly changing. With new techniques, new algorithm changes, and new people jumping on board all the time, you have to know what will work with your optimization, and what is largely seen as a waste of time.
So I set out to discover what’s new with SEO in 2017?
A Roundup Inception: Check with the Experts
There is one thing that will always be relevant to SEO. No matter what changes, and no matter what happens: high quality content will have the largest pull in the search engines. I have written about having quality content before, and even did a roundup on how to write that high quality content. If you’re not providing content for your website, you have to do that before any other tips and tricks for optimization will work.
Content is so important that it’s included in Ashley Zeckman’s roundup of the experts. And not just included, it’s listed as the top tip for 2017. Her article about Top SEO predictions for 2017 goes on to get quotes from a few other SEO experts. Some are pretty basic, things that you should have been doing all along, others a bit more in depth and require some more thought in the coming year. The bottom line: write for humans and not for algorithms!
You’re Missing Opportunities
Back in the day, when optimizing was younger, it was a whole lot easier. Actually, in the days before Google it was as simple as repeating a keyword or phrase hundreds of times at the bottom of the page. As the internet got more crowded, and algorithms more sophisticated, it has gotten harder. It’s more than just writing an article that contains some keywords and phrases, now it’s about crafting something people want to read.
SEO has two major components. There are the traditional methods (like alt tags, keywords, headers, and the like), those are indeed important. But there are new strategies that show you’re an expert, that show you’re putting time and effort into your content and website, and that will help give a short-term nudge into a permanent position at the top of Google. Fortunately Julian Connors has taken the guesswork out of it for you. In his article about what you’re missing with SEO, he takes us through 5 ideas where you can put in a little extra effort and see a huge push in how well your website ranks. Keep in mind these are starting points, use them as idea generators and take that list to 15 instead of just 5.
Don’t Skip the Traditional Methods
Just because SEO is changing doesn’t mean that it’s time to let up on some of the tried and true methods. In fact, combining new methods with those that work is the best way to make sure that you’re highly ranked. But how do you go about tackling it? What’s your best approach?
Coming up on 2 years ago, Brian Honigman wrote a great post about how to optimize your content the right way. Despite that this was written in early 2015, it still holds true for SEO in 2017. Here’s where it gets a little tricky for many writers. Instead of taking the time to create the high quality work, they want to push through quickly, optimize quickly, and rank quickly. It doesn’t actually work that way. Brian talks us through how to create content that is quality, how to target it to the readers, and the last bit: traditional SEO is the final step.
It seems that creating quality content keeps popping up as a recurring theme. Must be something to that!
Changing Your SEO Focus in 2017
Once again you’ve wasted a perfectly good 12.3 minutes reading this week’s Wednesday Roundup. Hopefully even more if you actually took the time to click the links and check out the experts and what they have to say. And hopefully you’ll “waste” even more time working on your SEO game in 2017, taking you to the top of the results page so that your prospects and clients can find you online.