There are a lot changes happening in SEO at the moment and has led to a lot of unease with SEO companies and with businesses that rely on them. There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about and this can mean that you make a decision to change direction in the way you use SEO when you are already using good techniques.
Bing Is Important
Google has the majority of the search engine market but Bing is improving its position with nearly 20% of searches as of November 2013. When you consider Bing powers the Yahoo searches and they have a combined marketing arm that takes the combined entity to nearly 30% of all searches. This is more than 5 billion searches per month and while dwarfed by Google’s 12 billion is it something that you should be looking.
Context Is Changing SEO
The ability of the major search engines to better understand context is affecting how your website may be ranked for a given search. There are many factors that can have positive and negative affects and depending of the context of the search query they can change from search to search.
This can include optimization for mobile device compatibility, location information and social media connections. These all influence the results that a particular query will return but at present not by a huge degree. It is something to be aware of and to understand as this seems to be a direction that search engines will continue to move towards in the future.
There has been a few SEO related items that have been over hyped recently and authorship is definitely something that comes to mind. What using an authorship tag will do is bring up a picture when an associated search result is displayed in Google. It will not in the current implementation affect the ranking of the results.
While the ranking is unaffected do not underestimate how positive having a picture appear in the results displayed can be. It highlights your entry and has a very positive result in click through rates so it is a simple and inexpensive way to make your entry stand out of the crowd.
The use of subheadings and stuffing them with keywords or associated keywords has become a popular practice with some organizations. While the H1 heading can have some value doing this with the rest of the subheadings and sacrificing clarity can have a negative effect.
This can particularly be the case with overzealous use that can verge on keyword stuffing and really should be avoided if there is not relevant to the content in the page.
SEO hysteria broke out when there was shown to be a link between pages that had Google +1’s and the page ranking of the page. Research has shown a strong correlation and further investigation has found that this is not because Google are using +1’s to boost the page. In fact Google have been very clear that they do not take into account +1’s that are received at all. The correlations is because the page has interesting content that has caused a user to give it a +1, this same quality content is ranked highly by the search engine.
This is a clear case of mixing up cause and effect and it would be a mistake to try and target increasing the amount of Google +1’s that your site receives. This would particular be a problem if you moved away from producing quality content.
The bottom line for all of these SEO techniques is that making high quality content available to the widest possible audience by engaging blogs, social media and mobile devices. This will ensure the highest possible visibility and a good ranking on the search engines.