SEO 2015 / Early 2016 Perspective & Strategy

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A thorough perspective on the main elements of SEO for the 2015 / 2016 period.

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SEO 2015 / Early 2016 Perspective & Strategy

  1. 1. SEO for the 2015 / 2016 Period Algorithm Updates Slide 1by
  2. 2. Algorithm Updates Google Algorithm Tweaks & Changes • Panda is still prominent as ever. ‘Value-add’ is overtaking content (which is a medium to deliver value-add) in terms of focus for SEO, though obviously content will continue to deliver value-add. We’ll get to this later! • Penguin has been through many iterations and is now incrementally updated across query-spaces rather than having large, devastating refreshes • Penguin has made link-building very difficult for small and medium businesses since blogger- outreach was severely damaged in terms of SEO effectiveness • Large businesses with huge budgets can spend that money on SEO-creative instead. They can produce microsites and interesting campaigns which gain links naturally around the web. This avenue is not usually open to small / medium businesses • Pigeon expanded to further English speaking nations in December 2014 (Canada, Australia, UK). Pigeon has gradually been increasing the importance of local SEO factors and will continue to make Local SEO more and more important • Hummingbird continues to contextually interpret the web for Google. Keywords serve larger search entities, which have always existed (as ‘keyword buckets’) but now have renewed prominence Slide 2by
  3. 3. Algorithm Updates Google Algorithm Tweaks & Changes • In some months Google will be resuming their relationship with Twitter. This was huge news! The return of real-time search heralds the first true connection point between SEO and social • Just as YouTube video titles can be edited so that they trigger in “how to” or temporally relevant video SERPs – will we be optimising individual tweets with the same goal in mind? It’s likely • In late April Google will be increasing the importance of mobile friendliness as a ranking factor. Google are advocating ‘responsive’ design over pre-set parallel mobile sites (‘m.’ etc.) • This will only impact Google’s mobile SERPs, but some clients draw huge amounts of traffic through mobile devices • As technology and the web become more ubiquitous, we can expect to see sites with really solid responsive design to fly • There are still some advantages of parallel mobile sites, such as the fact that not all of the content and resources have to be loaded. As mobile networks and devices become more powerful – this benefit will become obsolete. Responsive design is the way forward except in very specific circumstances Slide 3by
  4. 4. SEO for the 2015 / 2016 Period Link Building Slide 4by
  5. 5. Link Building Making Link Building Viable Again for Small / Medium Businesses Slide 5by This is the 'old-school' way of building links in SEO. Pay for sponsored/guest posts, get authority. Simple! Shame it doesn't work any more…
  6. 6. Slide 6by Link Building This is the new way of building links. Invest money in your content team, produce a feature-campaign on a sub-domain (micro-site) of your client's website, and watch the links pour in… This is great but it means we're not offering bloggers anything (so those relationships are drifting); also only larger brands can afford this work
  7. 7. Slide 7by How about this… Host 'micro' creative projects on blogger sites and online magazines. This could be a mini-subdomain /HTML5/CSS3 project or something as simple as an infographic (but done really well) - What does the blogger get? The blogger gets to use the resources of a digital company's creative department for free. This is sure to produce higher quality content than they could hope to post alone - Where does the money come from? The budget that would have otherwise been spent directly on links! - What's the 'SEO Risk'? This is less risky than huge client-site creative projects. Even if the project flops, you'll still get some inbound link- authority from the blogger's site - What's the 'SEO Benefit'? Because no money changes hands, the link can be editorial (followable). This is a joint project between the agency and the blogger, using relevant data (as the base for the content) from your client. The editorial link will be a citation saying that the work was produced in conjunction with your client, without whom the visualisation would not have been possible (it was your client's data that was used)
  8. 8. SEO for the 2015 / 2016 Period Content & Value Add Slide 8by
  9. 9. Content & Value-Add ‘Value Add’ is King – The New Era of SEO • The phrase commonly touted by many who work in the SEO industry, “content is king” – somewhat misses the mark • Content is simply one medium through which value-add may be delivered to an audience • “Content is king” dates back to at least 1996 when Bill Gates wrote a post on the subject. This is actually a really old idea • There’s also a misconception that content is synonymous with text, it isn’t! • Content is anything on the web which can be digested by an end user. Even if Google can’t break into certain ‘flat’ content mediums (such as videos not hosted on YouTube, which don’t have annotations and embedded links) – Google can still gauge the popularity of that content using external metrics • Value add should be delivered through some form of digestible content. The content may be simplistic text and infographics, ‘moment’-based microsite campaigns or even a technical system such as a new, unique comparison engine • Google want to see new ideas and development on the web Slide 9by http://web.archive.org/web/20010126005200/http:// www.microsoft.com/billgates/columns/1996essay/es say960103.asp
  10. 10. Content & Value-Add What do We do in the ‘Value-Add Era’ of SEO? • Have an idea. This may be a new technical development to aggregate existing data on the web such as a comparison engine like Money Supermarket or Compare the Market. Don’t forget to leverage the client’s data for a new, web audience! • Has it been done before? If so – don’t bother. Think of ways to aggregate previously unexploited data (often from the client) which could be delivered to your target audience in a new way. Make it informative, educational or entertaining • Top broadcasting executive John Charles Walsham Reith (1st Baron Reith, 20 July 1889 – 16 June 1971) realised that it was every publisher’s obligation to “inform, educate, entertain” if they wished to survive. The days of ‘easy’ SEO and keyword stuffing are over. We are now technical experts with strong data-analysis skills. We can use this data to inform content and publishing (using search volumes, etc.) • Now we’re getting the picture. Content isn’t just <P> text! SEO is entering an analysis era where our research around search trends will inform our client’s products, media campaigns and content ideas (such as their microsites, blog posts, web development projects, comparison engines etc) • SEO should be embedded within the client’s overall marketing mix. SEO will become fully integrated and interact much more with PR, paid search, broadcasting etc. Embedded SEO which is data-centric is the way forward Slide 10by
  11. 11. Content & Value Add Key Takeaway Slide 11by • SEO has changed, content for the sake of content was never what Google wanted • Don’t think about content without value-add • Content is anything which a search engine can determine as popular, digestible material through on or off-page metrics. Content can be technical development!
  12. 12. Content & Value Add Key Takeaway Slide 12by • Have an idea, build something cool! • Combining our search data and insights with unexploited (on the web) client data will provide great SEO results • SEO is no longer a ‘bolt-on’ service. We need to integrate with other key marketing channels such as PR, Social, etc.
  13. 13. SEO for the 2015 / 2016 Period Structured Data Slide 13by
  14. 14. Structured Data New HTML5 Semantic Tags, WAI ARIA, etc. • We all know that Google have been using ‘semantic’ tags (such as <H1>, <li>, <strong>, <em>, <p> etc.) for a long time in SEO. With HTML5 comes a plethora of new semantic tags for Google to get their teeth into • There are also pre-existing attempts to get more semantic information into code by using classes and attributes (rather than tags) such as WAI ARIA. We know a lot of this was done for the sake of blind web-users, but it’s all contextual information Google could be using • Even if Google’s contextual use of conventions such as WAI ARIA is less likely, it’s very likely that Google will adopt some contextual interpretation of the new HTML5 semantic tags • We know this because Google have adopted almost all previously introduced semantic tags such as the famous <H1> and <H2> tags • Don’t forget that; technically speaking - <title> is also a semantic tag rather than ‘actual’ Meta data (like the Meta description) which is content contained within a <Meta> tag (rather than having a dedicated HTML tag of its own) Slide 14by New HTML5 Semantic Tag Examples: <article> <aside> <details> <figure> <footer> <header> <main> <nav> <section> <summary> <time>
  15. 15. Structured Data New HTML5 Semantic Tags, WAI ARIA, etc. It’s likely that other forms of structured data: • Stuff found on schema.org • Microformats • Microdata • WAI ARIA … will continue to evolve and play a role in rich-snippets (structured data surfacing in Google’s SERPs) and Google’s search algorithm at large (particularly content-focused algorithms like Panda) All SEO experts should keep a keen eye on the development of not just schema.org but structured data on a grander scale Structured data will become more than just star ratings Slide 15by New HTML5 Semantic Tag Examples: <article> <aside> <details> <figure> <footer> <header> <main> <nav> <section> <summary> <time>
  16. 16. Structured Data Key Takeaway Slide 16by • Keep an eye on HTML5 introduced semantic tags • Follow the evolution of Microdata, Microformats & schema.org very closely • Watch as Google’s rich snippets and Knowledge-graph grow in size, scope, granularity and power
  17. 17. SEO for the 2015 / 2016 Period Ubiquity Slide 17by
  18. 18. Ubiquity Device Ubiquity: It’s NOT all about ‘Mobile’ People are getting really lazy. They want to be using the same device wherever they are, which is why the ‘tablet’ (iPad, etc) has become such a knock-out winner. • An increasing amount of traffic comes from ‘mobile’ devices • Although this is true, most of that traffic still comes from the home • This means that it isn’t the ‘mobile’ nature of the devices which is causing them to be so successful. Most mobile web-traffic doesn’t flow during transit • The reason these smaller devices are so successful is that they are ubiquitous. You can use the same device in your lounge as in your bedroom. Great! No multi-logging required Following the development of ‘Mobile’ is important, but the actual entity that is evolving here is device-ubiquity and not the mobile market (which ubiquity is carrying, thusfar) Because of device ubiquity, “responsive design” will outgrow and overtake parallel mobile site design (‘m.’ sites, etc). Sites will have to be flexible across numerous devices including mobile phones, tablets and whichever additional devices soon surface Slide 18by
  19. 19. Ubiquity Key Takeaway Slide 19by • Mobile is really important, especially with Google’s upcoming Mobile Friendly update. But don’t lose focus on the real digital evolution here, that of ubiquitous experiences and devices • Google may even match this with a fully responsive, ‘ubiquitous’ search platform. It’s possible that ‘mobile’ SERPs for mobile devices are just a stop-gap
  20. 20. Ubiquity Key Takeaway Slide 20by • This will become even more true as mobile networks and devices gain coverage, bandwidth and power • Google will have to match a spectrum of devices. At the moment “tablets” (especially the smaller ones) come under ‘mobile’ – but they usually use Wi-Fi (not 3g / 4g) so should their search results factor page-load speed so significantly as actual mobile phones? Tablet connections are closer to desktop speeds
  21. 21. Ubiquity Key Takeaway Slide 21by • Google are pushing responsive design over pre-set device- specific parallel sites because they are down with ubiquity • Responsive design (or responsive parallel sites) will be able to best cope with the wide spectrum of devices and screen sizes offered by device manufacturers • Just think of the number of possible different PC monitor aspect ratios and sizes that are now offered to consumers. Screen ‘shape’ is something which will also evolve
  22. 22. Now that I’ve Taken Everything a bit Bladerunner: Are there any questions…? Tweet me: @studiumcirclus Slide 22by

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