The very first major shift in Google’s ranking strategy is the way it will rank websites that are not mobile compatible on all hand help devices. They have made it abundantly clear that from April /May onwards any website that is not responsive will not rank as high as sites that are. Webmasters and site owners that have gone to the trouble and effort to make their site responsive will be rewarded. Alternatively, those that have not are going to see the outcome and they are not going to be happy. As Hopping Mad reviews SEO trends in 2015, this is the one that I would say is going to cause the biggest stir. There are many businesses out there that are still unaware of the impending nightmare that is about to descend on them in terms of mobile rankings. So this is a big warning. Get your site fully responsive.
The last 2 to 3 years has seen a clamp down, and rightly so on dodgy link building and poor on page, lazy attitudes to websites. That is, Google has come down hard on those websites that exists merely as a reference point. A brochure online that is there cause it has to be there. These sites over the years were probably not doing too badly by the mere fact of the age of their URL. Well 2015, is going to see the end of this as content marketing strategies becomes the focus of Google. Strong, well worded landing pages that deliver real insight into what the consumer is searching for is going to work well in 2015. If you think that you are going to be at the top of the search results with thinly worded pages that are light on relevance and content then think again.
Possibly one of the worst things any SEO agency could do for their clients is to focus on a set of keywords and nothing else. This is an unfortunate situation, brought about by SEO companies that are forced into implementing spammy techniques as they are on extremely tight budgets or even worse; they just don’t know what they are doing. Google wants link diversity. Simply put they are looking for a completely natural back link profile and anything other than this will result in penalties. I can assure you that this practice is extremely common in Australia among many of these ‘so called’ SEO companies and 2015 is going to spell the end of these unscrupulous tactics. If you are one of those businesses (and you should know this) that have tried to penny pinch and go with the cheapest SEO providor then Google has you in its cross hairs and you better watch out. I am not just saying this to try to scare you into using our services. My reviews are designed to help well intentioned businesses that have gone into a SEO contract with an agency based on the sales spiel they have heard. Most business people act with the best intentions in mind and unfortunately this is not the case when it comes to SEO. WHY? I honestly cannot tell you but it has a really bad reputation and this is due to the actions of many bad elements who think they can prey on the naivety of hard working honest people. We are here left to pick up the pieces of a fragmented online marketing campaign that has turned sour. So all I can say is pay a very unrealistic low price for your SEO and the consequences will be absolutely dire.
If you think social media is just for the children then think again. The signals we are getting from other SEO review websites in 2015 is that social media is going to play an important role in what Google determines is ‘of value’. If your website has got something to say and is worth sharing, liking or tweeting, then this will be detected by the search engines and better rankings will follow.
The SEO landscape has shifted radically over the last 5 years. Pre Penguin and Panda updates suffice to say it was OK to link build en masse. It really didn’t matter who you hooked up with in terms of doing your SEO. Any old company was fine so long as they were able to but links at a reasonable price. The jigsaw puzzle (and it really is one) that makes up the SEO fabric is comprised of many elements. You really need to be across all of these if you expect to be on top of your game. There are companies out there who have got a handle on this and respect what they have to do in order to be industries best. In many cases, they have teams of people looking after every strand of their SEO and internet marketing. No stone is left unturned when it comes to ticking all the right boxes.
So where does it leave you the business owner who may not necessarily have the resources or the capacity to do everything needed to comply with Google. Well, the answer is simple. Be natural with everything you do online and never try to manipulate your rankings fraudulently. This is especially true in the SEO environment we find ourselves facing this year. Be really careful with everything you do and tread lightly and cautiously when it comes to who you decide to partner with.
If I had to review 2 grave mistakes businesses make and need to address is:
- be realistic in your timing expectations to rank. This is not going to happen overnight and is a very lengthy process. So you have to be in this for the long haul
- try not to be too tempted with SEO pricing. In know this is hard, but please understand me when I tell you the inherent dangers of trusting someone who is offering their services at third world rates. I have written about this on many occasions and all I hope is that the message sinks in.