SEO is a fickle beast. Constantly evolving and complex with ethereal rules. At times, SEO’s will jump on openings in loopholes they dig up, and sometimes these tactics will work and result in better page rankings, but the good news usually only lasts so long.
So, how can you consistently build a strong search reputation while avoiding the tricks and trends that may eventually be more harmful than they are helpful? Throughout all the SEO trends that have come and gone, it seems two major themes have emerged: SEO evolution is depended upon human behavior and the fundamental and universal concepts of SEO have become stronger over time.
Human behavior forces algorithm updates: Think forward. Google likes to make their search engine more and more intelligent, mirroring the human mind. We see this in Google’s recent Hummingbird Algorithm update. Hummingbird brought more focus on understanding conversational human inquiry as opposed to picking out keywords on a site that match a search query. A search for “what is the best Mediterranean restaurant near me?” is an example of a more human question that Google now attempts to intelligently assess. The keywords “best” and “near me” imply an ability to understand. “Best” could mean cheapest, most high quality, most popular, et cetera. “Near me” depends upon the search engines ability to interpret where you are and what is in the area. This trend will continue, so gear your SEO toward providing human answers to human questions, as opposed to rigid keyword matches and keyword stuffing.
Fundamental SEO concepts only become stronger: The best practices of SEO have stood the test of time. Strong content, original content, good and relevant linking, reputable and trustworthy back-linking, proper titles and descriptions, brief yet descriptive URLs, and consistent and on-point keywords – these things have always been the mantra of white hat SEO tactics and will remain that way for the foreseeable future.