It was an interesting year looking back at 2016 when it comes to search engine algorithms and SEO. The emphasis in 2017 will no doubt be web developers and SEO professionals in Columbus, GA concentrating on mobile responsiveness, page speed, quality content and backlinks from high DA sites. Each year, Google makes around 500 minor search algorithm changes but occasionally rolls out major algorithm updates like Penguin and Panda that affect SERP in major ways.
Since Google’s mobile friendly update called “Mobilegeddon” rolled out April 21, 2105, a lot of websites that are not mobile friendly are taking a hit on mobile searches but remain the same on desktop searches. So it is clear the mobile friendly Google update has increased the difference between smartphone and desktop rankings. There are more smartphone than desktop searches world wide so mobile searches will be more geared toward mobile friendly websites giving the user a better experience.
Most SEO experts and web developers in Columbus, GA are aware in 2016 Google included AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) listings in mobile searches which allows AMP generated pages to load much faster than conventional mobile responsive websites. For more information about the AMP project, visit the website. http://searchengineland.com/get-started-accelerated-mobile-pages-amp-240688
Congradulations to Youtube which is now the second largest search engine. A lot of content written by bloggers and SEO experts is mostly still word content while video content is rapidly gaining popularity all over the internet. You may have noticed Youtube videos showing up in SERPs while surfing. Mainly this is because videos can show your products or services in action better than text and images alone.
When putting a video on Youtube, don’t forget to put your long tail keywords in the title, description and tag areas.
In January 2014 Google’s Matt Cutts stated it’s algorithm does not take into consideration how many likes or followers you have on social media sites. This confusted many Columbus, GA SEO experts and marketers since this statement conflicted with his previous statement that “social signals do play a role in organic SEO”. Researching this more, I found that Cutt’s statements are not in conflict with each other because social signals are a sign to Google your site is getting plenty of increased referral traffic from the social shares which correlates into more quality backlinks and better SERP.
In order for social signals to be an effective SEO campaign and help your brand’s visibility in search results, you need a strong clear plan for sustainable traffic flow and lead management.
Before starting an off page SEO campaign you must have already implemented on page SEO, strong site architecture with internal linking and valuable quality content the user is looking for. A lot of backlinks won’t help you if your site has thin content. Chances are your website will never get penalized if you have 100% relevant tier one backlinks from trusted DA sites which are not spammy.
Anchor text links done incorrectly could possibly land you a penalty so keep the exact match anchor text below 2%.
On most SEO forums you can purchase backlinks on public networks but you run the risk of Google penalizing every website using these networks. Google finds these PBN easily because there is an excessive amount of outbound links on their home page which are completely irrelevant to each other. These posts have thin content which Panda’s algorithm does NOT like.
One thing to remember is 302 redirects block authority flow to your site so use Screaming Frog to find 302s and change them to 301s.
Backlinks that are from trusted high DA sites will improve your site’s trust rank and increase your chances of performing well in search engines.
Google values business listings to the point they are a part of the local search algorithm and should be utilized for any SEO campaign. The most important part about these profile listings is that around 60% of them give you a DoFollow link. This is another way to build trust for your site and backlinks from these don’t need to be relevant because Google trusts these platforms and knows most businesses will be using them.!
Schema markup is code that you put on your website that helps search engines understand what your site content is about and search visibility using rich snippets which can indirectly impact search rankings. For more information visit https://www.google.com/webmasters/markup-helper/
JSON-LD is a new schema markup data linking format which makes it easy to embed structured data markup code in the head section of your web page using a script tag. There is no need to tweak HTML elements like Microdata and runs in the background creating a much faster experience. JSON-LD is a more simple and streamline way to implement schema markup code. It allows search engines to crawl the code and understand more easily what the page content is about.
Undoubtedly the SEO trend for 2017 is about proving to Google your website is an authority for your niche. In other words, you will need more quality content, more quality backlinks and better on page SEO than your competitors in Columbus, GA. Google likes new and updated old content so pull up those old blog articles and add some new valuable content.