There are many things several SEO professionals are talking about on how SEO will be in 2010 where from one person to another, the priorities vary. I am not saying one person is more correct from the other, but SEO has always been a do and observe type of science and art and everyone will always have their own opinion about it. As long as you have an open mind to new ideas, backed up with your own testing by doing your own experiments, and continuously sharing with other SEO professionals, you will get a good pulse of what’s coming in 2010. As for me, this is what I believe will be coming in 2010, read more on the 2010 search trends below.
1. More Social Media Optimization in 2010
Probably by this time, many companies should already be aware that SMO is not just putting up a Facebook and Twitter account and adding as many friends as you can and your done. Social Media is really about the community. The building of the community and socializing, more interesting interactions and less hard selling. Social Media has served well when used as a medium for customer support, product and service feedback and has been less successful when used solely for new product or service promo offerings. It has also been a major problem with companies with bad testimonials and other negative reviews that tend to receive more attention and hurt the company than help them. Social Media’s role in SEO has been:
- Gaining links from social media sites
Whether it is a blog, forum, daily status, micro blog, etc, as long as there was a link and it was search engine friendly, it was good.
- Gaining links from the community
If you have link baitable content that is so good, the moment someone is interested in the topic reads it will link to it and promote it further. Social Media serves as a medium to promote your link baitable content even to more people maximizing the word-of-click promotion.
- Getting more pages on Page 1
If your site already ranks well on page 1 but still has some competitors on the same page, your own social media profiles can potentially rank well for your targeted keywords also and possibly push down your competitors so you can dominate the first page. This technique has served well also for some people for ORM purposes to push down denigrating websites for branded search terms where denigrating sites can hurt the company’s brand.
In 2010, all of the above will still be true, but aside from the reasons above, Google has already implemented the Real Time Search, where in real time, news, microblogs and social media status are posted in SERP snippets.
2. Better Link Development in 2010
Link Diversity – We have heard this many times over and over in many conferences last year: link diversity. The funny thing is this is not a new SEO concept. But for some reason, the common link spammer will always exist and Google and all other search engines will always try to track them down and apply some filters to make the spammer’s efforts less successful if not successful at all. You can only link spam so much to appear natural with Google’s server and algorithmic powers. I have no doubt they can easily find link spammers just by looking at how diverse their backlink universe profile is. Strictly speaking, almost every kind of whitehat link building can be viewed in a blackhat point-of-view if you really want to view it that way. Adding diversity can always help in proving links to be more natural than artificial. Rand Fishkin speaks about this more below:
In the video above, link diversity in IP addresses and deep linking was discussed. But what I believe that was not discussed was also link diversity in website types where your links come from. For example, not only from blogs, or forums, but also articles, press releases, news, reviews, directories, and more. The more your links are only from 1 type of website, probably it s artificial. More on link diversity would also be diversity in link text and also link diversity in geographic location which can sometimes mean they are also coming form the same Class-C IP block.
First Link Priority – After verified over and over by various SEO professionals after this was first mentioned by Michael VanDeMar in 2007, order of links is important. In the case of duplicate links within the same page, only the first anchor link text is read by search search engines. And sometimes the first link may not have the best anchor text. A good tool to check your sites first links is the First Link Checker by BusinessOL. Knowing this search engine behavior is where the creative coding comes into play making sure the first link text of a duplicate link on a single page gets the best keyword focused link text. Although experiments show this is important, my gut feels is Google will get this fixed sooner or later simply because it makes no sense not to fix it. This was one of the main question I have asked to Matt Cutts in Google Moderator and hopefully it catches his attention.
3. On Page SEO Will Never Die
Coder skills are still a major requirement for 2010. A common thread in many SEO forums, is what is more important, offpage or onpage SEO? Of course these are two different things and some people tend to compare them based on their different experiences since one SEO ranking factor can always outmatch the other depending on the situation. But many SEO people believe in the power of the link is given more importance over what you place in your title tags, meta tags, header tags and so on. But what many people are not realizing is Onpage SEO is not just writing the write content within the proper tags, but coding websites properly as well.
Document Weight/Loading Time – Page Speed as Google calls it is an important ranking factor in 2010. Below are several useful resources about it:
- Page speed added in Google Webmaster Tools
- Page speed from the Google Blog
- Google page speed
- Page speed plugin for Firefox
- Page speed plugin for Chrome
- More on page speed from the Google Blog
Structured web using Microformats – Specific code that can help Google understand more details about the sections of your site creating rich SERP snippets. Several links about this is listed below:
- Introduction to rich snippets
- More on rich snippets
- Microformats and VCards/HCards
- Microformats and RDFa
- Google rich snippets tips and tricks
- XFN HCard compared to RDFa
- FOAF tags
- vCards Specifications
- XFN Specifications
Tags to signify location and language – proper doc types, language and also the use to the <address> tag are known to help out in local search and international search.
First link proximity – depending on your CSS skills, floating <div> boxes in the proper direction, controlling what comes first in the content and what still making the whole site cross-browser compatible will be a challenge for some companies.