2014 has seen a huge shift in Search Engine Optimization(SEO) strategy. Taking it’s lead from Google, running strong at 67% of the search market, SEO is moving away from keyword-centric to a more content-focused, user accessibility model. For several years, Google has tried to anticipate ways in which developers have attempted to “game” the search giant’s results pages. Starting with hidden text and stuffing keywords into nonsensical prose to keyword meta tags and finally to link spamming, unscrupulous companies have tried to increase traffic for sites that pay them a tidy sum. What those site owners end up with are penalties that harm or even destroy companies through reduced rankings and even outright bans. So, what do we have to look forward to in 2015?
With the latest Penguin updates, Google made it clear that incoming links from sources not relevant to your website’s product or service will not only not help your site, it might very well hurt it. And if they see a ton of links from such sources, they will assume link spamming and penalize your website. In-bound links should be natural and not something to be bought. Almost as relevant are outbound links. Linking to appropriate sites outside of your own in order to extend and embellish the user experience get high marks from Google. Do you see where we’re heading here? It’s all about relevance and the user experience.
Now, here’s one that will shake some heads. The KEYWORD meta tag is back in play. But be careful. Add keywords that are relevant to THAT PAGE. Be very specific and it will help. Have 300 terms in there and it will hurt. Now, here’s the part that some people have a hard time wrapping their head around. Google doesn’t see your website as one entity. In 2015, this will be more important for you to get this. Your website is simply a collection of potential landing pages, depending on each page’s relevance to the search criteria.
So, 2015 for SEO looks to be a finer tune for relevance, above board linking and coding at the page level to focus the page content on the subject of that particular page as it relates to relevant searches.