2015 SEO Trends
Undoubtedly, SEO has evolved and will continue to change in 2015. Semantic search, mobile traffic and indirect relevance of social networks are just some of the things that will change. Of course there are many things that remain the same such as the content written for users and search engines.
At the beginnings of SEO, things were quite simple. Strategy was all about choosing an exact match domain, directory registration, content copied from other sites, link exchanges and purchased links. Today things have changed dramatically, we get algorithm updates like Panda, Penguin, Humminbird etc. all the time.
SEO purpose remained the same, but optimization techniques have evolved. Today SEO has become more complex and more than that, the guiding motto has become « quality above quantity! »
What should you focus your SEO strategy in 2015?
- Adapt your strategy for long tail phrases
In 2013, Google released the update algorithm Humminbird. Unlike Panda and Penguin, which focuses on content and links, Humminbird brought a full review of the algorithm based on semantic search. Semantics is a branch of linguistics that deals with the study the meanings of words. Semantic Search tries to understand the meaning and intent of the users’ search queries.
For more than 10 years Google has taught us to look for key words that describe what you want. Today Google is trying to learn to make conversation and to ask questions.
In 2015 it is essential to target long tail keywords, especially conversational questions, if you want to attract more organic traffic and get higher rankings.
- 2015 SEO factors will be more mobile devices
Mobile’s share of global web traffic leapt to 39% since the same time last year, with one-third of all web pages now adapted to mobile phones. The potential for faster mobile internet access has also grown exponentially in the past year, with 39% of all global mobile connections now classified as ‘broadband’ (i.e. 3G or 4G).
Google, who noted the trend, has started to put increasingly more emphasis on users’ looking for more mobile-optimized sites. Therefore Google favors sites that are optimized and mobile, to the detriment of those who are only optimized for desktop.
To ensure that your site is properly optimized for mobile devices you must pass the test Google Webmaster-Friendly Mobile. With this tool, you can see if your site is mobile-friendly and meets the criteria of Google.
- 2015 – the year of secured sites (https)
Google announced in 2014 that it will favor sites that are secured. Moreover, John Muller said the https will be a ranking factor. Even if making the transition to HTTPS will not guarantee you the first position as there are other factors that Google takes into account for ranking sites, you should secure your site anyway because, in the near future, this will not be an option but a requirement.
- SEO for users, not just Google
SEO is no longer just about creating content and links. Marketers have already realized that business sites that are able to humanize their brand will benefit in the future. People feel the need to know that behind the brand there is someone who understands their needs and is ready to empathize with them.
Therefore SEO will become an important part of branding and I believe that 2015 will put increasingly more emphasis on this.
When you set a SEO strategy, not only technical aspects count. Create communities, build relationships, seek influential people who can promote your brand and do not forget social networks.
- Social networks are still trending in 2015
Are social signals (tweets, shares, +1) a ranking factor? Yes, but not as we were led to believe.
2-3 years ago, people were saying « Social networks are the future, SEO techniques are dead. » We see know that social networks are not everything and SEO should not be buried yet.
The truth is that social networks are an important factor in terms of SEO.
Being active and having an impact on social networks should be part of a content marketing strategy.
Your content being shared generates backlinks, brings traffic and increase the number of queries for your brand. All this contributes to the positioning of the site.
- Brand references and quotes
Google differentiate between « express links » and « implicit links. »
Express links (what the general public refers to as a “link”), are URLs linking to a web page.
An implicit link is one mentioning or referring to a brand but not containing a direct link to the brand’s site.
Because of the abuse of link building techniques, Google seems to put more emphasis on implicit links that are less frequent and harder to manipulate. In 2015 you should pay attention to the brand being talked about on the net and to “nofollow” links. You might discover that they are as important as “dofollow” links!