The Changing Face of SEO

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) continues to mature as a discipline and as it does, the things that one must do continue to change. Some of the work of SEO is quite straightforward and in fact the single most important thing you can do to boost your rankings is to have quality content about what you do.

No search engine will send visitors your way if you don’t explicitly tell them what you do using the keyword phrases that people would naturally use in the search bar to look for a company doing what you do or selling what you sell.

But it used to be all about getting a page to rank. Earlier this year, Google rolled out “passage ranking” which is where Google tries to provide the one passage on a web page that answers the question the searcher has. I guess one example of that would be if you searched for “to be or not to be” you wouldn’t want the result to be the script of Hamlet. You want to get straight to Act 3, Scene 1 where Hamlet opens with “To be, or not to be, that is the question . . . “. And those are the passages that Google seeks to show you for specific searches.

Google’s ability to index pages and understand the content well enough to know that, buried deep in the page is a specific answer to someone’s search is powerful (and a tad scary). But what it really points back to is the importance of having quality content.

Another key to both SEO and user engagement is using a mix of content types. Text, yes, we’ve already addressed that. But having images, videos and perhaps infographics to help illuminate your content will help both getting traffic through the search engine AND in engaging the visitor once they get to your page.  

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