by Nathan S
The SEO community in general is up-in-arms over recent Google algorithm changes. In fact, the extremity of an SEOs dissent seems to be directly correlated to how much of their work was done in “black hat” or unethical SEO tactics. Which is a good thing, I’d contend, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some interesting ramifications to online marketing. With gaming the Google algorithm becoming much more difficult, the nature of gaining exposure through online sources has changed.
A Quick Overview of Google Algorithm Changes
I have done a couple of blog posts on Google’s “Panda” ranking factor. This factor is designed specifically to punish sites with consistently low-quality content. The theory is that sites which are rich in high-quality content will be able to rise into these spots, benefiting the end user by providing them well-written material.
However, complementing the Panda factor are factors for social media, site speed, and schema.org implementation. The first one is based on the same premise as link-building: If you have a lot of social interaction, Google gives you a boost due to a perception of authority. The second one is a are usability factor: A user on your site will be much more likely to bounce (leave quickly) if the site doesn’t load quickly. I did a schema.org blog a while ago, and it simply constitutes a way for Google to, with a great deal of accuracy, classify your website through the use of specific HTML tags.
What all these changes mean for SEOs, though, is that while technical SEO is, and always will be, important for helping Google understand the site’s validity, Google quite clearly intends to crowd these elements as much as possible.
Does this mean SEO is no longer needed? Absolutely not! Without technical SEO, an otherwise great site can, in fact, not rank well because Google can’t properly navigate the site. However, it is looking like this style of SEO is going to quickly become the core on which other SEO efforts are based, and these other SEO efforts—content marketing, social media, usability and authority—are going to constitute the most important part of your online marketing plan. One SEO blog described this as a shift to SEOs becoming more “inbound marketer” than “technical SEO.” I, for one, am excited to see where this all leads.