2009 is rapidly approaching and search engine marketers, experts, SEO consultants, and Internet marketing companies alike are trying to stay current on “what’s new” with Google’s algorithms. Search engine optimization is a dynamic game but the need for the use of best practices and adaptability are never more true than when trying to stay at the top of Google for desired keywords. So what should we expect in 2009?
The word on the street is that Google is yet again making the search process more geared towards the individual user. This makes sense for the user but makes it increasingly more tricky for SEO consultants to maintain rankings for their clients. The bottom line is that with Google’s new algorithm, your site will appear at the top for every user no matter how well optimized the site is.
Let me back up a bit. Over the past few years the basics of organic search engine optimization have been relatively consistant. Sites that rank well for their keywords have older domains, a healthy amount of inbound links, good unique content, solid site structure, proper use of title tags, meta tags and H1 tags, etc. Optimizing a site for Google is a bit more involved than optimizing for Yahoo and MSN. Yahoo for example recognizes more inbound links and is quicker to give newer sites rankings. Google on the other hand is tougher to please. A good Internet marketing company will optimize primarily for Google while making adjustmests along the way for the other search engines.
All of the basic best practices will still be important with the new algorithm and should not be overlooked. However, the idea for 2009 is to personalize search results more to each user based on location and past search history. This will definitely make the game more strategic when applying search engine optimizations for clients. This will also add another piece to the “education” side of client interaction and project management.
So what should we focus on? The best thing to do is always focus on the user experience and value of the content. Rich media, videos, and audio may be the next big thing for Google when assessing relevance and awarding rankings. Keep adding good content and consider the use of video and audio where appropriate.
We’ll see what happens!