History of SEO evolution
No matter how controversial the existence of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it is still thriving. It keeps evolving, and the whole process seems to be never-ending. To succeed with your business, you need to remain aware of these changes to SEO and how they affect you. Tracing changes and evolution in SEO, keeping track, and making the required changes to your digital marketing strategy is the main task of SEO experts. Best SEO Practices plays an important role undoubtedly.
Keep in mind that technology is always evolving and user behavior fluctuates, which creates continuously changing conditions. To survive and adapt to the highly volatile landscape, you need to stand out.
Google’s algorithm changes come with SEO changes – these are made to improve your customers’ experience. If you want to know how speedily everything changes, think of the figure 3,234 – this number reflects the average number of updates Google make to their algorithms. However, most of Google’s algorithm updates do not have a direct impact on SEO. It has been estimated that there have been around 8-10 updates that had a meaningful impact on Google ranking.
In this blog post, we will try to trace the main changes in SEO trends over recent years. We will also show you that SEO trends and best SEO practices do not “die” or fade into history. Again, we will explain how to build a successful SEO strategy. Keep reading, you will learn which SEO strategies are the best for 2020.
Google Algorithm Changes
In this highly reactive environment, Google does not stay in one position. Google’s algorithm rules continually change. For example, let’s take the recent change when Google decided to prioritize the news stories in search, emphasizing the value of “original reporting”. After this update, articles with “original reporting” are projected to stay in Google for a longer time, shifting the patterns applied to content evaluation.
To introduce these changes, Google has circulated new instructions to its network, comprised of 10,000+ human visitors. Their comments are incredibly valuable for Google, as they help Google to identify which content they should give priority. And thus, best SEO practices is a must.
Since the authoritativeness of content defines the article ranking in Google, these changes are meaningful and affect the style of content which is popular in Google. That’s why best SEO practices are very important.
What would be the repercussions of the “original reporting” change introduced by Google?
Sometimes, Google algorithm changes have an impact on SEO practices. Some of them do not even touch SEO, let alone affect your SEO strategy. However, there are cases when Google algorithm changes can “fundamentally change the business models of hundreds of websites”.
Interesting to note is that very often, it is practically impossible to predict the result of these changes, such as the one we have mentioned above.
Often Google algorithm changes can stir controversy, as a result, it is difficult to predict the outcomes. In the end, Google Search Algorithm changes are kept secret. Such maneuvering from the side of Google helps to avoid manipulation from “black” SEO professionals.
Google algorithm changes and impact on SEO
What is a Google algorithm for SEO? Are Google algorithm changes related to SEO?
As mentioned previously, to determine page ranking, the Google algorithm partially uses keywords. Up till now, a lot of traffic comes from Google searches. So, understanding Google algorithm changes, which are indisputably connected to SEO practices, is a clue to how to rank yourself higher in Google.
Understanding Google algorithm
The first thing you have to do is take your time and understand Google algorithm changes and the impact on SEO. Google always encourage the best SEO practices.
As has been mentioned before, the Google algorithm is using the keywords that determine page ranking. It means that the change in the Google algorithm has an impact on SEO. Doing SEO is indisputably one way to rank in Google, but these days a single focus on SEO efforts is not likely to bring you a lot of fruitful results.
The days of keyword stuffing a website, which got almost all traffic to your website, have gone. Instead, the best way to rank for specific keywords is to create high-quality content, build your site authority, and avoid any tactics that may cause your search ranking to suffer.
White Hat/ Black Hat Method
Forget about your attempts to outsmart search engines and using any “black hat” practice. These days have gone and are not likely to come back. best SEO practices/ white hat SEO is the best for Google.
To see how it all works in practice, let’s look at the Penguin Google Algorithm. Penguin was introduced in 2012 and was how Google decided to combat Webspam, mostly about tricking people into thinking that your site is the best one to rank. Penguin is mainly about the quality of your links. However, link building is not the only factor that defines the success of Penguin.
The Penguin algorithm was aimed to uproot the practice of keyword stuffing.
When Penguin came into the play, its effect was devastating. It was a time when link building strategies were taking over the internet.
If you look at the SEO guides of those times, you could see that all of them encouraged extensive link building practices. Thousands of internet directories were created. Some of them were not read at all. And if you had your links in all these places, you were supposed to achieve a high rank.
Everything changed with Penguin, however. The algorithm could easily recognize the sites using these low-quality link-building tactics. After Penguin, sites stuffed with keywords or multiple links built through directories were pushed down from high positions in Google ranks.
Moreover, such sites have been hampered from the attempts to rank higher on Google. It meant that if your site had been caught with extensive link-building activities, the ranking has been downsized, and there was no way to improve your site’s ranking. The same happened to Google ranking. So best SEO practices help to rank keywords in Google.
The main issue with the Penguin algorithm was that it could run only occasionally. It meant that you could get rid of your Penguin issue by getting rid of links or using Backlink Audit Tool.
Site Checking Tools
The new link checking tool said that Google does not want you to look at an under-check while Google was making calculations. So, if you’re going to clear up your links, you have to wait till Google re-ranks the Penguin algorithm to see if you would still pass the changes that have been introduced by the previous Google algorithm.
Penalizing sites proved a bad activity for Google, and in 2016, Google stopped penalizing sites. Also, link-building was affected and it is not as strict as it was before.
Who was the most affected by Penguin? Arguably these are the small SEO companies. These companies were affected by Penguin since most did not have enough funds to employ a high-quality professional to work alongside the changes.
Lessons learned from Penguin:
- Creating stellar content still rocks
- Be wise with link building strategy
- Hard work on your site still matters
2016 – link building becomes the core of SEO practices. Focus on Targeted link building practice – specific URLs have been brought to specific domains – usually individual pages. Users were trying to use those links to boost their page ranking and improving search engine results. Though not so popular as before, targeted link building is still valid.
2017 – social networks conquer the world, subjugating users. It is a time when a Cohesive Social Media Strategy helped to boost the SEO Efforts of web users. From this time on, Social Media SEO efforts helped increase site visibility and increase organic traffic. Social Media is no longer perceived as a separate unit. SEO experts started to perceive social media activities as a way to boost their site ranking in Google. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn posts are direct search ranking factors.
Search engines believe that optimization due to social networks’ coverage brings maximum benefits to users, which means that such sites deserve more trust.
2018 – the main trend in SEO is the method of traffic diversity and the special value of brand traffic. Site owners work with the brand, creating special value for users; 2018 is marked by the evolution of SERP features, which can be tracked with SEO Trackers. These tools have been designed specifically to trace all features triggered by your keywords.
2019 – search engines preferred the sites containing the most useful content that meets the customers’ needs. The goal was clear: search engines were trying to answer the question that comes first. SEO came in line with that goal and tried to create the content that answers those questions. Accent on quality content was the main feature of SEO 2019.
Pay attention to the fact that SEO tendencies do not die out or evaporate into space. One tendency in SEO overcomes another, none are ranked “top”, they shift places. Let’s examine which SEO trends in 2020 will take your site to the top position in search ranking. It will help users to come directly to your site while searching for information on Google.
Please learn more from here about the best SEO practices.
SEO in 2020: what will put your site at the TOP?
In 2020, SEO is projected to prosper. This year you can apply up to 12 effective SEO trends in the promotion of sites, the use of which in 2020 will significantly increase your chances get to the top spot.
SEO Trend #1 – Goodbye, SEO Specialist
The approach to SEO promotion is changing. Today, everything that could bring your site to the top in Google ranking is viewed by the system as a standard SEO procedure that must be applied to your site. It means that all SEO tools continue to work with one single purpose – not let you fall below the competitors’ line.
Therefore, everything that the SEO specialist can do for you is no longer as necessary as it used to be. Of course, SEO practices are still valid, but the days when an experienced SEO expert could bring your site to the top have passed.
Full promotion needs a special professional. These days an SEO marketing professional is not only adjusting the site settings but is also knowing how to use Google site promotions tools.
The SEO marketing expert is working on business development as a whole, while site development is one of the elements of a company’s marketing strategy that helps your customers engage with your business offers.
For the same reason, it is almost impossible to bring a single page site to the top position in a search ranking. Search engines do not see the potential in promoting such a website.
Today, the only way to bring the one-page site to the leading position in Google is through low-frequency queries, which are very rare these days.
An ordinary SEO specialist, who is skilled only in using standard methods of SEO, is not likely to properly handle this task.
This is not a universal SEO expert who can solve your business problem only by using SEO techniques. Instead, the modern SEO expert is one who can analyze various aspects of your business development such as:
- the competitive environment
- the nature of the product you want to promote
- new opportunities and needs faced by your target audience.
- Therefore, the best solution, in this case, would be to promote your site by yourself.
Your major task is to analyze your business and to make your site accessible to the maximum number of users. Thus, SEO strategy in 2020 must be implemented in conjunction with a detailed analysis of your business.
The business analysis comes in line with the knowledge of the main trend in SEO today.
SEO Trend #2 – Focus on Smartphones
Every year, mobile devices become more convenient and multifunctional. Smartphones are not just approaching their older brothers – personal computers – in terms of their functionality and usability, but they also in some cases tend to be much more comfortable and can offer an even higher spectrum of functions than laptops.
Therefore, the focus on mobile gadgets is becoming a major feature of modern SEO practice, aimed at site promotion and overall business development.
If you want to make sure that you are reaching this market, try to analyze the data on your site and track what percentage of mobile users are using mobile devices. I am sure that in most cases, this figure will exceed the 50% mark.
Now, let’s analyze the requirements your site has to meet in order to prove adaptability to Google Algorithm updates.
Point #1 Full adaptability
Your site adaptability is important as it guarantees your end-users would enjoy your site’s full functionality in the full version. The design should also correspond to the smartphone screen features, meaning it will change harmoniously when the screen is rotated.
If you are using limited resources, and have little chance to improve both versions of the site, you are strongly recommended to focus on the mobile.
To check the site’s quality on smartphones, use all the pages yourself, press all the buttons, and try to fill in the registration forms, ordering, etc. Ask employees and acquaintances to run around the site and let you know if something is not working as they would like. Also, use accessibility services to check the adaptability of the site.
High download speed
To understand which download speed is normal for users, remember that download speed is one of the essential aspects that define your site’s success. Users are increasingly becoming time-savvy today, and if your download speed is low, customers will simply leave your site.
Try to fix your site speed. One of the reasons internet users tend to use mobile devices is the desire to save time. Therefore, “the page is still loading, just wait a minute” no longer suits anyone. Sometimes, even a fraction of a second matter. The faster your site works, the more mobile users you will get.
If you want to test your site’s speed, you can use such services as GTmetrix.com. Your task is not just to find out how many points a particular parameter received, it is necessary to constantly improve your speed indicators and analyze how effective this work was.
How your site looks on popular browsers
Your users must be sure that everything on your site is ideal. If your site does not meet this requirement, others will not give your site a high value. Your site needs to be visually attractive in different browsers and on mobile devices.
Usability and convenience of your site
There should be no need to stress the importance of site usability! Often we forget to check how convenient it is to check your site usability via mobile devices. Failure to check your site promptly can affect your site and cost you search rank. And hence, the best SEO practices have a great part of it.
Work hard to ensure that visitors coming to your site from their smartphones can do everything they want and find information without too much effort.
SEO Trend #3 – Increasing the Size of a Loyal Audience
A loyal user will sooner or later become a valued customer. Search engines are doing their best to support businesses in terms of finding loyal customers, which is why it is so important to use all possible methods to increase your customer base.
To increase the number of loyal users, we can influence the growth of the number of direct conversions:
- though E-mail;
- from groups on social networks;
- from messengers;
- due to remarketing efforts
It is necessary to collect a solid base of users to work actively. Such purposeful and comprehensive work with the target audience is highly valued by search engines, rewarding sites with a more advantageous position in search results. One of the main trends in SEO in 2020 is to increase the number of loyal users.
SEO Trend #4 – Maximum Variety of Traffic
Working on the development of only 1-2 sources of traffic is not likely to bring you a lot of positive results. 2020 brought significant changes in search engine ranking algorithms. SEO trends in 2020 are to create as many sources of traffic as possible. Proper and best SEO practices will help you bring maximum traffic.
While evaluating your site for value, Google pays attention to the sources that users navigate to reach you. This can be from:
- direct transitions;
- transitions from social networks;
- transitions from E-mail;
- the transitions from messengers;
- contextual advertising;
- teaser and banner advertising.
Be sure to monitor the characteristics of the behavioral factors of site users with the help of analytics services. If any of the types of traffic “sag” or is absent, you should focus your attention on that element. Search engines value those resources that can be accessed by switching from any source.
SEO Trend #5 – Brand Traffic
The brand is not just a word. This is the name of your project, which should sound good and tell customers about the direction of the company’s activities. Brand in itself is an effective tool for your site promotion.
There must be a buzz around your brand. Search engines encourage sites whose owners work effectively to develop branded traffic.
Ways to strengthen the brand that is valued by search engines:
- the frequent mentioning of your brand on the internet, including articles, reviews, own site, social networks, comments, forums, etc;
- the search of your brand by users, which is achieved by stimulating interest in it through quality advertising, “sundress radio”, frequent mentioning of your brand by bloggers;
- inclusion in the request of a brand name, which is achieved by the same means;
- offline advertising – banners, radio, speeches, interviews, authorship of articles, lectures; all of these are excellent for brand recognition.
This trend in SEO is reasoned by the following fact: the more people hear the name of your brand, the more often search engines come across it, thus proving the high value of this brand to users. So best SEO practices are the best.
SEO Trend #6 – Concern for the Protection of Users’ Personal Data
Internet fraud has become the main dilemma of the present day. The need to protect users from becoming the victims of fraud has become the reason for this new SEO trend. Therefore, search engines place the protection of personal data as a priority.
What can be done to show search engines the reliability of your data protection?
- specify company details or legal data of your site’s owner;
- all electronic payments must be done through online payment services;
- replace HTTP with a secure HTTPS protocol, which improves the site’s security;
- constantly update the CMS version on your site;
- set a reliable login and password to the admin area;
- constantly monitor and instantly fight back against possible virus attacks on the site.
Choosing the right internet provider is something that can help you to solve the problem with viruses.
SEO Trend #7 – Keeping Your Site In A Working State
Having come across a broken site a couple of times, for example, due to an expired domain, search engines can destroy the results of all your efforts. A broken site cannot be included in the list of search engine favorites, regardless of the nature of the problem. Perfect and best SEO practices will make your site great.
To maintain the smooth operation of the site it is necessary promptly:
- renew the domain;
- renew the SSL certificate;
- pay for hosting;
- respond to server failures;
- Fight virus attacks.
Don’t underestimate the importance of all these simple measures, ignoring them can be fatal for your online business. Believe me, everyone who thinks that their site never “fails” is deeply mistaken. To be 100% sure that your site is currently functioning properly, we recommend that you install services that will instantly notify you that the site has stopped working.
SEO Trend #8 – Content Visualization
Internet users adore visuals, no matter if it is a simple image or a complicated iconographic. As a result, visuals have conquered the internet. The reason behind this extensive use of visuals is simple – visuals lead to a significantly higher percentage of comprehension and memorization of information. This is one of the reasons for the advertising success of cinema and television over radio broadcasting. Every part has a great role in the best SEO practices.
Comparing the convenience of visual content over textual content, we have to note that the first is more convenient to regular internet users, simply for the reason that it saves time. For time-savvy customers, this is a huge advantage.
Taking into consideration these facts, search engines prefer sites with a lot of visual content, which led to the emergence of another SEO trend in 2020 – extensive use of visuals on the site.
Measures to improve the quality of visual content on the site:
- Harmonious and user-friendly design – try to stay away from bright and superfluous elements which may distract from focusing on the important textual information;
- publication of a large number of photos – photos will help users better appreciate the product, which they do not have the opportunity to touch;
- large images: small photos do not allow details to be considered, thereby reducing the usefulness of content;
- beautiful quality illustrations: aesthetic pleasure increases the evaluation of users and search engines;
- useful videos of high quality: the more complete and convenient the information on the site, the more satisfied the users;
- 360 reviews – a convenient form of studying visual information;
- Infographics help structure data so you remember more quickly. The more high-quality visual elements are published on your site, the more pleasure search engines are ready to index it.
SEO Trend #9 – Focus on Low-Frequency Queries
We used to enter short queries in the search bar, for example, just “SEO”. In response, we received millions of variants of sites, among which were commercial and informational. Such short requests did not allow us to solve the task quickly. Therefore, users are increasingly using long query constructions to find what interests them; for example, “online SEO courses for beginners in Kiev”.
To make life easier, search engines have added a voice search feature. This trend towards the use of long queries has created a new SEO opportunity in the promotion of sites in 2020 – an accent on low-frequency queries. Today, up to 70% of natural traffic comes from low-frequency queries. Follow the best SEO practices and you will succeed.
Thanks to this tendency to use long queries, Google’s developers have created a new Google “Bert” search algorithm that recognizes and analyzes not keywords or phrases, but entire sentences, finding the closest projects.
To catch this wave and occupy higher positions in search results, try to create separate pages on your site for groups of queries that are similar in meaning. What you need for this:
- Assemble the semantic core with all possible queries that match your business;
- group requests by meaning and characteristics: by shape, color, size, price, functions, etc;
- create a separate landing page on the site for each received group of requests;
- fill it with quality SEO content, useful and interesting for users and search engines;
- link the pages of the site among themselves;
- use external links;
- constantly monitor positions on these requests
SEO Trend #10 – Concentrate on the Search Engine
Increasingly, you hear about the tendency of search engines to cycle search traffic on themselves. On the one hand, it is, but only if the user typed in a request like “weather Kiev” or “Height of Everest”. Those inquiries which do not demand detailed analysis will quickly return a simple, concrete response.
In other cases, a block of quick answers in search results can not only be a good source of traffic but also rate you as an “expert” source. Therefore, it is necessary not to fight traffic loops with search engines, but to be able to work with them, which bears great results. Ideally, you should make a block on each page with answers to users’ questions on a specific topic.
SEO Trend #11 – Top Ranking and Large Sites
We mentioned above that one-page sites have almost no chance of getting into the top ranking of search engines. To have top ranking your keywords what helps you most is best SEO practices.
The logic of search engines is as follows: selling a limited number of goods/services or covering only one issue (if it is an information resource), the site may not be as useful to users as a resource ready to offer more products or interesting data. Therefore, purposeful work on the growth of the company is not a dream of an entrepreneur, but a full-fledged SEO trend in optimization.
If you do not have the opportunity to expand your business, this is not a reason to give up a place in the top rankings of search engines. You have other options to increase the number of positions on the site:
- thinking over the development policy, start with the addition of a range of similar products, this will allow you to get into the TOP in a narrow direction, ahead of marketplaces, and give you a reputation as an expert in this product group;
- dropshipping work, when the goods offered on your site are delivered to the consumer directly from the manufacturer;
- adding products to the site marked “Not available”, even if you do not have this product in principle, so you can draw attention to your project and create a sense of shortage. Do not overdo it so that users do not feel they are being tricked.
SEO Trend #12 – The Path of the Discoverer: Storming YouTube and Marketplaces
The popularity of YouTube is no longer in doubt. Many business people forget that YouTube is not just video hosting, it is a real search engine, which is also the brainchild of Google, able to attract potential customers.
We have the same story with marketplaces. All the SEO tools here also work great. This is not just an option to be considered, but must be used to stay ahead of competitors and get additional benefits in the form of increased and more diverse traffic, increased frequency of mention of the brand, new users and orders, as well as increasing the site’s position in search results.
There is not a perfect or unique strategy when it comes to preparing yourself for change in Google algorithms. In this case, all you can do is stay positioned to be aware of the latest changes in Google algorithms, deliver the best content, pay attention to the news, and, of course, develop your brand.
SEO is not just alive, but also feels great when it’s done well. Site owners have given up spending time and money on the unprofitable services of SEO-specialists and independently engaged in the promotion of their resources, combining this work with the development of the business as a whole.
Consider the SEO promotion tools we have described that are most effective in 2020, and use these trends yourself. There is nothing impossible or incredibly difficult in them. And thus, follow the real and best SEO practices for your money site.
Users, competitors, search engines, and ranking algorithms change regularly. Therefore, the nature of SEO promotion should change, adapting to this year’s trends. And in the pursuit of leadership in your chosen field, it is important to invest more so that you do not lag behind competitors and you can react to change promptly.
To get benefit from following new trends in optimization, start working on the Search Engine course now. Here, under the control of our specialists, you will be able to go through each of the stages of site promotion and business scaling:
- audit of the sites of top competitors;
- analysis of behavioral factors of own users;
- selection of all the queries on which you can promote your site, and create pages for each of them;
- optimization of the site as a whole and each of its pages separately;
- creation of high-quality selling content that meets the requirements of SEO and the interests of users;
- work with links: placement of free links, purchase of paid ones;
- comprehensive work on creating a positive reputation on the Internet;
- launch SMM promotion;
- form a strong sales department, and an entire team to help support business development.