Looking at SEO For 2017 And Beyond!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ever changing field, and one you need to stay on top of to get good rankings and avoid the dreaded “Google Slap” whenever another update is rolled out. Search Engine Optimization for 2015 and beyond will look much different than it has in the past, and understanding these changes is critical to making sure a website ranks well and without penalty.

The Major Negative Changes

One of the first things to understand is what the Panda, Penguin, and to a lesser extent the Hummingbird updates have done to change the way SEO works.

There was a time where keyword density, sheer number of keyword anchored backlinks, and a few mentions from an authority site (even if they were just comments) was enough. Those days are long gone and taking the same strategy not only doesn’t work, but it can actually hurt your efforts to rank well in the search engines.

Getting backlinks is a tricky business because as much as Google likes to side step the question, it’s still an important part of figuring out how to rank sites. However, keyword based links generally are damaging to your SEO efforts now, and links from non-related websites are all but worthless. The best way to deal with a backlinks is having one from a related site that uses your brand name or site name, and that’s it.

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Keyword stuffing is also penalized, and honestly the search engines have become so good at picking out meaning and grouping related keywords together in search results that there’s no reason for it.

Finally, bad content is penalized. Whether it’s poorly written, obviously English as a 2nd language, full of fluff or spun content: this all matters now, and Google even has manual reviewers who will grade a site after a review of such content.

What Is Most Important For SEO For 2017?

There are four things that need to be addressed for every website that wants to practice quality SEO that won’t get you penalized.

1) Clean coding. This is relatively simple. Don’t add too many widgets, don’t try to sneak in extra text, image tags, or keywords, just use simple and clean code that’s easy to read.

2) Quality content. There used to be legitimate arguments over how much this really mattered. Now there’s no question. Google not only looks for good spelling, grammar, and language usage but they are advanced enough to look for level of thought, clarity of explanation, expertise of the author, and style of writing. In other words, truly good writing matters more than ever and there’s no debating that point anymore.

3) Brand. Google likes the authority that comes with a brand, whether big or small. Positioning a company name, website name, or theme is extremely important. This includes everything you would do to improve a brand like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus accounts.

4) Context. One of the big changes in Search Engine Optimization for 2016 is the understanding the at the context any backlink comes from is perhaps the most important part of modern SEO. This is getting a genuine backlink with a brand new or website name as the anchor text from a recognized authority in your website’s field, and also linking out to recognized authorities in a website’s field. Context is extremely important in all the new algorithms. Keep those 4 things in mind and you’ll be ready to succeed with SEO in 2017 and beyond!