The web has played a major role in expanding business today. And becoming visible to people who matter, is the priority of all business. Search Engine is the key for online visibility as people use Search Engines to find the relevant thing they are looking out for. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the technique using which the visibility of a website can be improved in Search Engine and rank it higher in Search Engine Result there by placing it on the FrontPage for a keyword. SEO helps in putting one website above others so that it will be noticed and the searcher will click on it and visit the website.
When we talk of Search Engine Optimization, we keep in mind that we are talking about Google. With 84% market share Google is the leader in Search. The business of Search Engine Optimization is quite fickle because of the ever-changing methodology Google employs to rank websites. In SEO it is difficult to predict what will work and what will not because of this frequent changes in the backend algorithm. What is working today might not be as relevant tomorrow. So a good SEO professional should be well acquainted with changing trend in SEO and keep himself/herself updated with what is coming in. With that in mind we present below few of the expected trends in SEO for 2012.
Whatever automated techniques are implemented to rank sites, nothing can beat it when actual readers start ranking the websites. This way only the really relevant sites will be ranked and appear in the front page of Search result. Search engines like Google have realized this and have resorted to this way for ranking sites. So what is the implication? Link buying, swapping and baiting will rest in peace for ever.
Social media in 2012 will have major impact on Search Engine rankings. The Search result page will contain more and more of social media mentions. The Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ profiles and brand pages will have bigger roles in search engine rankings. For this the SEO strategy should be inclined towards social media. Your presence in social media should be strengthened and enhanced. Share only relevant information in your social network to catch the attention. Also number of Tweets, Facebook Likes and Plus ones can have impact on the SEO. Posting quality and relevant information will draw the attention and will garner more likes, tweets and plus one. While searching for Abhishek Rungta in Google, the 3 results in top 5 are from social network sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Quality and not Quantity
Earlier it was thought that longer articles with lot of keywords help in ranking. So it was a trend to write long articles with keyword stuffing. These are considered spam by Google with the recent Google Panda update. Many content firms have been penalized and are still trying to recover from the effect of Google Panda. Those with quality content saw an increased in traffic and rankings. Google is refining the Panda algorithm more with every updates, so that searchers will be able to reach to sites with quality content. So the SEO strategy should consider having Quality, relevant and informative content.
The growth in Mobile usage has been tremendous. Introduction of Smartphone at affordable prices is strengthening it further. People prefer to search for information on mobile devices because it is easier and faster and always at reach and give better result in some cases as it employs localized search. So the mobile search market has huge opportunity in 2012 and in coming year. It’s high time the SEO professionals should start consider optimizing the sites for mobile search and the businesses should relook at their mobile strategy.
CRO will be the buzzword
CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimization. This means converting your visitors into customers. If you are running an online business, then you can understand the importance of qualified traffic. These are the actual visitors who actually convert into customers. The site needs to be overhauled to engage customer and spend more time on the site. The call to action buttons need to be placed at proper location. SEO aimed at converting qualified traffic to customers will be the order of the day in 2012.
With Siri from Apple and Google Voice search it is easier to see where the web search is moving. Instead of browsing through a lot of result people tend to look for a direct answer when they are searching for something. Siri has been able to address that to some extent in its infancy. It usually relies on few sites to find the result. So SEO professionals concentrate on how to optimize the site to be in the purview of those sources. In future this new search technology is definitely going to replace all other kind of search.
Most of the search engines are now displaying personalized search result. The search result now shows result recommended by people in social network. This can be tested by searching for something while you are logged in to Google and while you are signed out; you will see 2 different sets of result. With recent release of Google’s Search plus Your World, the personalized search has gone to a higher level.
Decline CTR for Top Rank
A study shows that In 2006, a no.1 rank in Search result used to enjoy a CTR of more than 42%, which declined to 34.5% in 2010 and in 2011 further down to 18.2%. This decline is due to many factors like organization of Search result page, introduction of search technology like Universal Search and Instant search. SEO should digest this hard fact that the value of top ranking is going to decline further.
Snippets are the 2 lines of text that appear below the site Title on a search result page. This is very important, as it provides a gist of the content contained in the page the visitor is about to click. If the snippet is relevant to what the visitor is looking for he is sure to click on the link. Google has introduced rich snippets for Shopping, recipes, music, applications etc to help users determine more quickly if the particular web page they are about to click has information they are interested in.
Link Building Techniques
The traditional link building techniques which we have been following till now will no longer be viable and soon going to ring bells in Google’s ears. While creating back links do not be too aggressive and refrain from increasing back links regularly. Spread your back link building technique to several times of the day and follow an inconsistent approach. Try to do it in such a way that it will look natural. Try to obtain the back links from variety of sources like blogs, directories, social media and your friends, follower’s sites too.
When we look at the trends explained above we can notice major improvement in the way the search engines will be ranking the sites. Quality content with organic one way links will be of more importance in future. Whether you are a newbie SEO or experienced one, it is good for you to be aware of the upcoming trends and keep yourself educated to enough to combat the effect due to a change.