Hands down, the top SEO changes for 2012 included Google’s updates, Panda and Penguin. Now if you recall, Panda was released in 2011, while Penguin was released in mid-2012. Remember how severe the changes got? Keep reading to review.
SEO 2012 Turning Point #1: Spammy links were targeted and de-ranked by Penguin. And you know what hosted a lot of those links? Bad, spammy content that was a) duplicate and copied off someone else, or b) just plain badly written. (No offense to all honest offshore outsourcing endeavors.) Spammy links included past SEO endeavors that used to work, i.e. spinning links out of a software at the rate of 100 backlinks/hour. Since the spammy links were embedded in content, the content got penalized too, and website owners discovered they had to change their content pronto or risk getting buried forever in Google’s neverland.
SEO Turning Point #2: Penguin AND Panda won’t stop updating. Did you know the last Panda update, Update #22, was done in November 21, 2012? So says SEOMoz in their Google Algorithm update tracker. The last Penguin update, #3, occurred this October 3. The two major algorithm updates have been constantly refreshing during the entire year.
SEO Turning Point #3: The SERP Changes. This wasn’t Panda or Penguin, but it was major enough to cause a ripple among the top SEO blogging communities and de-rank a lot of websites. The SERP changes impacted 18% of keywords and basically changed the results page from featuring 10 results to 7 results. That means if you were on Google’s first page for your keyword, but in 8th, 9th, or 10th place, you were bumped to page 2 immediately when this change came out. Not a good thing when you’re a major company getting all your clients from your first page ranking—and another reason to invest in more quality website content around your keywords that would push you back up in rankings.
SEO Turning Point #4: Social Media is a huge factor in ranking.
We couldn’t leave this one out, even if we tried. Bloggers like SEO Cognition are calling it the #2 ranking factor of 2012. Not sure how social media could influence ranking? If you posted a blog on your Google+ page, that post could make it to page one of Google for your blog’s keyword. Late last year, according to Mashable, Google starting using their social community Google+ to influence results. Wondering how Facebook plays a role? If you post and it gets shared on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, it’s more likely to get noticed in Google’s news alerts.
SEO Turning Point #5: The Month of June. June 7, 2012 was one of the biggest days for the world of SEO and all involved. No less than 39 updates to Google rolled out on that one day, with updates to Google News that affected placement of quality links, all-new link-detection schemes, and more Penguin updates.
SEO Turning Point #6: The value of Copywriting just got realized. Just like social media, which is now an integral part of ranking, webmasters with any kind of website realized how crucial good content is to a well-ranking site in 2012. Content is the meat of all ranking results. Without good website content, you really can’t rank for your keywords. Every other SEO strategy, from backlinking to social media, is built on its foundation: good copywriting. Without the right copywriting on your website and to fuel your SEO campaigns, your chances of success for ranking won’t be as good.
Stay one step ahead of Google with the right knowledge.
That said, what are your Top SEO Strategies for 2013?
Look for our February blog to get all the details on this one!